Beowulf Attacks the Dragon Essays
1576 Words7 Pages
Beowulf Attacks the Dragon.
Beowulf makes his final boast. He says that, even though he is old, he shall “still seek battle, perform a deed of fame” by killing the dragon. (Norton59) He doesn't know how to grapple with the dragon, like he did with Grendel, so he will use a sword and shield. He tells his men that the outcome will be “with us at the wall as fate allots, the ruler of every man.” (59)
He tells them to let him fight the monster alone, “By my courage I will get gold, or war will take your king, dire life-evil.” (60) *These three quotations indicate pagan elements of glory, not Christian.* eowulf approaches the barrow. From the stone arch, he feels the dragon’s fire emanating from within. He shouts at the…show more content…
Wiglaf’s “heart’s courage did not slacken, nor did the heirloom of his kinsman fail him.” (61) Miglaf gives a speech reminding his companions about their duty which includes the only Christian reference in the passage. He says, “God knows of me that I should rather that the flame enfold my body with my gold-giver. It does not seem right to me for us to bear our shields home again unless we can first fell the foe, defend the life of the prince of the Weather-Geats.” (61)
*Another curious mixture of pagan and Christian ideas*
The passage ends with Wiglaf wading through the smoke to join Beowulf, who is encircled in the dragon's flames.
Themes: Beowulf is a poem with pagan origins, yet it has many Christian elements. Indeed, the second quotation we are given from this passage assigns fate as the "ruler of every man." A true Christian poet would never assign rule over man to any other than the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Additionally, the gaining of earthly treasures or, specifically the taking of treasure from a defeated enemy, is not an activity that is heroic in the Christian sense.
Christians champion the cultivation of spiritual rather than worldly treasure. Beowulf seeks fame by killing the dragon, not salvation through belief in the
Beowulf as a Hero Essay
754 Words4 Pages
The poem, Beowulf, by Seamus Heaney, depicts Beowulf as a perfect hero. Beowulf is the mythical son of Edgetho and later becomes the king of the Geats. In the poem, Beowulf's shows heroism in two different phases of his life, youth and old age. Throughout the poem, Beowulf faces three difficult conflicts with Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon. Throughout the novel Beowulf is a noted and respected warrior from Geatland. During Beowulf's youth, he is considered to be a great warrior, portrayed by his strength, courage, and bravery. Beowulf begins his legacy in Denmark with an evil monster, Grendel. Grendel is ruining King Hrothgar's kingdom and is ritually tormenting him. The monster breaks into the castle and eats as many of…show more content…
He kills Grendel's mother by cutting of her head. When the fight is over Beowulf swims back to through the lake to his men. The men rejoice with Beowulf and they all go back to Hrothgar's battle hall. When they arrived back Beowulf shows, "Grendel's head dragged across the floor . They stared in awe. It was an astonishing sight" (113). Hrothgar rewards Beowulf with gold and important advice about being a king. Beowulf's defeat of Grendel and Grendel's mother certifies his reputation for bravery and establishes him as a full hero. When Beowulf returns to Geatland the narrator focuses on the very end of his life. In Beowulf's later years he is crowned King of Geatland, and considers himself to be both a warrior and a king. When Beowulf encounters the dragon, the responsibilities of being king are shown. He must act for the good of the people and not just for his own glory. During Beowulf's ruling a runaway slave finds a hidden tower in Geatland. An evil dragon lives in the tower to guard the golden treasure. The slave steals a golden cup and "a dragon on the prowl from the steep vaults of a stone-roofed barrow where he guarded a hoard..." (151). The dragon leaves the tower and the next night the dragon begins burning villages, people, and Beowulf's castle. Beowulf hears about the dragon and meets him with many of his warriors by his side. He fights the dragon but is losing because he has gotten older. Wiglaf, one of his warriors, runs to