“Your Legacy Is Yours to Build”: Defining Leadership in Beowulf and Its Adaptations
Ruhland, Emilee Catherine
More InformationShow full item record
This paper analyzes how narrative choice and media affect the depiction of leadership in Beowulf by studying three texts: the medieval Beowulf, the 2007 Hollywood film of the same name, and Beowulf: The Game. While the medieval text celebrates qualities of leadership that blend Germanic heroism and the Augustinian ideal of kingship, the film rejects ideal kingship and instead focuses on the vices of greed and pride as inherent in all leaders, thus rejecting good leadership completely. However, the video game strikes a balance and manages to again celebrate good leadership, though it’s celebration of the Hero King and condemnation of the Monster Slayer presents a dichotomy that the medieval text would consider necessary roles of any successful leader. By analyzing these three unique approaches to the same story, this paper reveals that these contemporary texts celebrate American violence and condemn the violence of the Other.