When the angry dragon mercilessly burns the Beowulf a verse translation pdf’ homes and lands, Beowulf decides to fight and kill the monster personally. When the dragon wounds Beowulf fatally, Wiglaf slays it.
This depiction indicates the growing importance and stabilization of the modern concept of the dragon within European mythology. English literature to present a dragonslayer. The dragon fight, occurring at the end of the poem, is foreshadowed in earlier scenes. The dragon fight symbolizes Beowulf’s stand against evil and destruction, and, as the hero, he knows that failure will bring destruction to his people after many years of peace. The dragon himself acts a mock “gold-king,” one who sees attacking Beowulf’s kingdom as suitable retribution for the theft of just a single cup. The scene is structured in thirds, ending with the deaths of the dragon and Beowulf.
Fifty years pass with Beowulf leading as a wise king, when a local dragon is angered when a slave enters its lair and takes a cup from its treasure. The creature attacks the neighboring towns in revenge. Beowulf receives a fatal wound from the dragon, but Wiglaf impales the dragon’s belly to reduce the flames, and Beowulf deals the fatal blow. In his death-speech, Beowulf nominates Wiglaf as his heir, and that of the treasure.
Beowulf is a hero who previously killed two monsters. The scene includes extended flashbacks to the Geatish-Swedish wars, a detailed description of the dragon and the dragon-hoard, and ends with intricate funerary imagery. European literature, writing of it, “dragons, real dragons, essential both to the machinery and the ideas of a poem or tale, are actually rare. European dragon and first incidence of a fire-breathing dragon. God, man and beast alike. A study of German and Norse texts reveals three typical narratives for the dragonslayer: a fight for the treasure, a battle to save the slayer’s people, or a fight to free a woman.
The dragon, therefore, is a stark contrast to the other two antagonists. Moreover, the dragon is more overtly destructive. In contrast with the previous battles, the fight with the dragon occurs in Beowulf’s kingdom and ends in defeat, whereas Beowulf fought the other monsters victoriously in a land distant from his home. The people’s fate depend on the outcome of the fight between the hero and the dragon, and, as a hero, Beowulf must knowingly face death.