Sunday, 18 November 2007

The Fraudian Beowulf

I suppose that I should be annoyed about the secularisation of Beowulf. And I am. But I am really riled by the introduction, as in The Lord of the Rings, of a “love interest”. Why? In this case, Beowulf has sex with Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie, of course), but doesn’t actually kill her, merely pretending to have done so! Are we still that in hock to Sigmund Fraud? No, no, no: sex is not the answer to everything.


  1. Anthony Hopkins shouldn't be in this any more than Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud should have been in Clash of the Titans. Which is not to say that Clash of the Titans shouldn't have been made. though.

  2. Anthony Hopkins was bloody awful - he was the one person in the cast who seemed congenitally incapable of pronouncing Beowulf correctly.

    Having said that, and despite my initial reservations, I enjoyed it. I have read a translation of the original poem, and I first read Rosemary Sutcliffe's superb prose rendition when I was a child. And so I was able to appreciate the beginning closely matching the original. The later "twist" to the Story is typical Neil Gaiman who really is a gifted writer with a genuine feel for this kind of story-telling.

    I was expecting to be disappointed, but I wasn't.