Monday, October 17, 2011
In the poem of Beowulf, Beowulf, the great warrior of the people, was wounded by a furious fire-breathing red dragon. Although great in power, his mortality got to the best of him, causing the weak old King to announce his last wishes for his Kingdom of the Geats. He stated his wishes to his loyal warrior Wiglef, a brave and appreciative fighter who battled beside Beowulf in order to defeat the dragon. Once Beowulf died, Wiglef berates all of the cowards that did not help their loyal king. Additionally, the Geats, Beowulf’s people, dedicated a burial tower by the sea where voyagers could speculate the treasures gathered in the victory against the treasure-guarding dragon. Through the tone and images in these last scenes of Beowulf, it created an elegiac note. When the dragon was defeated, Wiglef was “hoping he would find the leader of the Geats alive” (Heaney 47) but he “found his lord bleeding profusely” (Heaney 47) while his life depleted. In this scene there is a sense of hope, however, a sense of sorrow is created when young Wiglef finds his lord dying. When Beowulf states, “’…I behold this treasure here in front of me, that I have been thus allowed to leave my people so well endowed on the day I die’” (Heaney 47), it established a thought of honorability since Beowulf wanted the best for his people. Although it was honorable, his state of weakness and closeness to death set a sad mood because it was known that his kingdom would prosper in his reign. Another final scene that created a note of mourning includes the scene where Beowulf demonstrates his great-heartedness one more time and gives Wiglef his collar of gold and telling him to use it, his warshirt, and the gilded helmet. This was depressing because these were the last actions of the once great king of the Geats.
Posted by Dgutierrez