Summary

Beowulf lies dead, and Wiglaf is bowed down through griefat the lose of his lord. The dragon, too, lies slain on the ground.The poet summary commemorates the beast’s end. Slowly, the Geatishwarriors who had actually fled indigenous the battle straggle ago to the barrowto find Wiglaf tho vainly trying come revive their fallen leader.The guys are ashamed, and Wiglaf rebukes them bitterly, declaringthat all of Beowulf’s generosity has been wasted ~ above them. The costof your cowardice, that predicts, will be higher than just the lifeof a great ruler. He suggests that foreign warlords will be sureto strike the Geats currently that Beowulf can no longer defend them.

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Wiglaf sends out a messenger with tidings come the Geats, whowait nervously because that news of the outcome of the battle. The messengertells castle of Beowulf’s death and also warns them that the enemy Franksand the Frisians will most certainly assault them. He expresses problem aboutthe Swedes together well, who have actually a long-held grudge against the Geats;he relates the background of your feud and tells how the Geats securedthe last victory. Without beo wolf to safeguard them, the messengerpredicts, the Geats risk intrusion by Swedes. The poet confirms thatmany the the messenger’s predictions will certainly prove true.

The Geats then rise and go to Beowulf’s body. They discoveralso the fearsome, fifty-foot-long corpse of the dragon. The is revealedthat the hoard had been under a spell, so the no person could openit except by the will of God. Wiglaf recounts Beowulf’s critical requests andreadies the world to develop his funeral pyre. With 7 of the greatestGeatish thanes, Wiglaf return to the dragon’s bier to collection thetreasure that beo wolf bought v his life. Lock hurl the dragon’sbody into the water.

The pyre is developed high and decked with armor, accordingto Beowulf’s wishes. The human body is set in and also the fire is lit—itsroar competes with the sound the weeping. A Geatish woman laments Beowulf’sdeath and also grieves about the war-torn future that she foresees forher people. The Geats location Beowulf’s continues to be on a cliff high abovethe sea in a barrow that will certainly be clearly shows to all passing ships. Sorrowfully,they recount the their king to be kind and generous come his people,fair-minded, and also eager to knife praise.

Analysis

The conclusion that the epic begins with a quick but lovelyelegiac i in respect of the dragon, consigning it, along withBeowulf, come the company of those who deserve to no longer exercise theirgreatness. The poet emphasizes the dragon’s beauty and grace ofmovement (“Never again would certainly he glitter and glide” <2832>),illustrating the the beast was splendid in its own right anda worthy complement for the an excellent hero. The poet’s admiring native aboutthe dragon glorify Beowulf’s feat in slaying together a biology anddemonstrate a respect for the slain adversary that Grendel and his mothernever enjoyed. The poet right here demonstrates his sensitivity to balance—whatthe translator call “four-squareness”—as he dwells ~ above the two bodieslying side by side, two impressive lives come to a close. The the contrary andpacing in this nostalgic moment help to prepare us for the elaborateceremony of the funeral v which the city concludes. Of course,the very first foreshadowing of Beowulf’s funeral comes lot earlier,with the recounting the the death of Shield Sheafson in ~ the beginningof the poem. The story has actually now come complete circle.

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Wiglaf’s rebuke the his fellow warriors, together with themessenger’s prophecy about Geatland’s brewing troubles, offersa good deal of understanding into the prominence of the warrior-kingfigure in early on feudal societies. In a human being where little societiesare constantly at battle over land, wealth, resources, and honor, thepresence that a an effective king is necessary to the safety and also well-beingof a people. As soon as a king dies, his people end up being vulnerable to themarauding forces beyond their borders. The doom the hangs overthe entire narration that Beowulf’s story appears to descend swiftlyupon his civilization the minute that the dies, and also the wailing Geats arewell aware of what the lack of Beowulf’s protection way for them.Wiglaf says as well the the weakness and deficiency of hisfellow warriors will certainly encourage invaders. The Geats have actually sacrificedtheir reputation as valiant warrior by refusing to concerned theaid of your king, and reputation is itself an essential layer ofdefense. As soon as word of your cowardice gets out, they will surelybecome targets of attack.