What are the differences in Beowulf's funeral between Beowulf the poem and Beowulf the movie?

1 Answer

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In the anonymously written epic of Beowulf, the funeral of Beowulf is simplistic and true to Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf's body was laid upon a very large funeral pyre, adorned with his riches and armory, and set ablaze. The funeral pyre was placed upon land, and a woman sang of the fear Beowulf's land will face now that he was gone). The smoke pouring from Beowulf's pyre was "swallowed" by heaven.

In the movie, the 2007 Robert Zemeckis adaptation, Beowulf was laid upon a funeral pyre, set ablaze, and pushed out to sea. Only Wulfgar witnessing the funeral. While the pyre burned, Grendel's mother climbs onto the pyre and lays by Beowulf's side. The pyre sinks; Beowulf and Grendel's mother disappear into the sea.