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Clip Activities for Students

In this section you will find four short clips from the film Beowulf, with accompanying viewing questions. These activities will allow you to think about the film's production, to see some key moments, and to consider how this new film version relates to the original Beowulf legend.

In order to view the clips, you need to have the latest Flash player installed. You can download this free player here. Please note loading time depends on your connection speed.

Clip 1 - Beowulf arrives 
Watch clip of Beowulf arriving

How is the 'age of heroes', and the warrior culture of the 6th Century, represented in this clip from the film?  What values or ideas seem to be important to these men?

You could think about:

  • the method of arrival of Beowulf and his men, as well as Hrothgar's messenger;
  • the design of characters' clothing, weaponry and their armour;
  • Beowulf's behaviour throughout, and particularly his speech to the messenger.

Clip 2 - Beowulf meets Grendel's mother
Watch clip of Beowulf meeting Grendel

How is atmosphere created in this clip? How might you describe the 'mood' at this point in the film?

Divide into groups to think about the following:

  • Beowulf's actions, and reactions, at this point in the film;
  • the setting for the meeting - what can you see in the cave? How far off does help seem for Beowulf?
  • the importance of light and dark: how much can Beowulf, and the audience, see of the cave? Where does the light seem to be coming from at different points in the clip?
  • the choice of camera angles at key moments in this section.  What different angles or views are used, and what do they show us? Is our 'point of view' the same as Beowulf's throughout, or can we see things he can't?

Clip 3 - Beowulf and Hrothgar
Watch clip of Beowulf and Hrothgar

As you watch this clip, pay close attention to the words and actions of Beowulf and King Hrothgar. The interaction between them here reveals some interesting points about their characters and the choices the filmmakers have made in this new version.

  • What key character traits can you spot in Beowulf and Hrothgar from this short section?
  • Are these character traits what you would expect from the warrior and the king, based on your knowledge of the original poem? Can you spot any differences to the plot in the original poem?

Clip 4 - Dragon Battle
Watch clip of the Dragon Battle

This clip shows Beowulf's fight with the dragon, which takes place at the end of the original poem. This section illustrates the use of computer effects in the film; you can also find information about the techniques used in the film in Filming Beowulf.

After watching the clip, think about the following:

  • what freedoms or possibilities does CGI (computer generated imaging) allow filmmakers?
  • What difficulties might the producers have encountered if they used live action, or live action mixed with CGI, for this scene?
  • Do you feel certain films are more suited to CGI techniques than others?

Beowulf clips © 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.