The Last Words of Beowulf

In: English and Literature

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Beowulf - His Last Words

In the society in which the poem Beowulf takes place, war and kingship are normal factors in daily life. Beowulf's world is a very violent society with wars as a dominant part of daily life. Dragons and monsters are a constant threat to the Danes and the Geats. Warriors are a necessity to this war-like society. Beowulf is a hero and an example of a great warrior. He fights against monsters. In the section of the poem we are about to discuss, Beowulf is ready to fight a dragon with his thane Wiglaf. He is going to fight a dragon . Beowulf has no fear of the dragon, because he has fought many enemies that were much more ferocious. For example one of Beowulf's great battles is the fight with Grendel. No one other than Beowulf is brave enough or strong enough volunteer to fight Grendel.

We are now about to enter a new age of Beowulf's life. With all his great achievements, he finally becomes king of his homeland: Geatland. Even in his old age, his code of honor still obligates him to fight against an evil, fiery dragon. For fifty years he has governed his kingdom well. While Beowulf is governing, the dragon "...kept watch over a hoard, a steep stone-barrow" (Norton 55). Under it lays a path concealed from the sight of men. Over centuries no one had disturbed the dragons kingdom until one day when a thief broke into the treasure, laid hand on a cup fretted with gold This infuriated the dragon. "The fiery dragon had destroyed the people's stronghold, the land along the sea, the heart of the country" (Norton 57).

Wiglaf is the only person who stays with Beowulf to serve his lord and to fight the dragon. Everyone else becomes cowardly and runs into the forest to hide from the dragon. It turns out that Beowulf's sword can not even penetrate the dragon. The dragon gets the best of Beowulf, he "...seized all his neck with his sharp fangs: he…...

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