Beowulf concluded. When Beowulf makes his final “boast” to fight the dragon, he focuses heavily on the action of fate in determining the outcome of the battle.
When Beowulf makes his final “boast” to fight the dragon, he focuses heavily on the action of fate in determining the outcome of the battle.
Wiglaf comes to his aid in battle. We have a parallel image of Beowulf’s soldiers waiting to see the outcome of the battle, just as they did when Beowulf went to fight Grendel’s mother in the deep.
Wiglaf loots the dragon’s tower for its treasure and carries it to Beowulf as he lies dying. (The poet gives a strange parenthetical caution about how wealth can corrupt in this passage).
Were you surprised by the end of Beowulf? The poem jumps from the heroic into the elegiac completely!
Is the poem trying to tell us we focus too much on the monsters and heroic acts and are ignoring other realities of life?
If the funeral of Beowulf moved once like an echo of an ancient dirge, far-off and hopeless, it is to us as a memory brought over the hills, an echo of an echo. There is not much poetry in the world like this; and though Beowulf may not be among the very greatest poems of our western world and tradition, it has its own individual character, and particular solemnity; it would still have power had it been written in some time or place unknown and without posterity, if it contained no name that could not be recognized or identified by research. Yet it is in fact written in a language that after many centuries has still essential kinship with our own, it was made in this land, and moves in our northern world beneath our northern sky, and for those who are native to that tongue and land, it must ever call with a profound appeal– until the dragon comes.