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67 Cards in this Set

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When was beowulf composed?
8th century AD
300 yrs b4 theh settlement in Britain of those Germanic tribes who were ancestors of Anglo Saxons

by Christian poet
Anglo Saxon characteristics
Christian, organized, aristocractic

king Offa treat on equal terms w/ Charlemagne
brief summary (first part)
-opens with funeral of Scyld, the mythical founder of th eDanish Royal House
-Scyld's decendant, Hrothgar, builds the great hall of Heorot
-But a fiendish, half-human monstater called Grendel, who lives in the fens, is angred by the sound of rejoicing in Herort and attacks the hall by night, killing 30 of the Danes
-He repeats his exploit and ravages Heorot for twelve years, since neither Hrothgar not his men are able to put an end to his depredations
-News of this reaches the ears of Beowulf, a nephew of Hygelac, king of th eGEats (Sweden tribe)
-Beowulf decids to go to Hrothgar's assitance
-with 14 adventurers he sails to Denmark, and is receied by Hrothgar in Heorot
-After a banquet Beowulf and his GEats remain in the hall to wait for Grendel
-When night has fallen the monster visits Heorot, bursts the door in, and ills and devours one of the Geats
-When Grendel teakes hold of Beowulf, B sizes him and after a terrible battle, wrenches off his arm
-Grendel is mortally wounded and escapes to his lair
-Next day a great feast is prepared in Heorot, at which Hrothgar and his queen Wealtheow shower gifts on Beowulf and his men, while one of the court poets reciites the song of Finn
-Following th ebanquet, when the Danes are asleep, Grende's mom raids the hall and carries off one of Hrothgar's best-loved counselloors in revenge for her son's death
-in the morning the Danes and Geats track her to the lake where she lives
-Beowulf plunges in and kills her after an underwater duel at the lake-bottom
-he cuts the head form Grendel's corpse, which he finds there, and returns with it to Heorot
-Again there is a banquet, during which Hrothgar deliviers a long moralizing speech of advice to the hero
-Beowulf and the Geats sail for home w/ gifts
-When they reach the court of Hygelac they are banqueted, and having told the story of his adventures, Beowulf presents his king with treasures that Hrothgar has given him, in return receiving liberal gifts
brief summary (second part)
-After the death of Hygelac and of his son Heardred in the wars with the Franks and Swedes, Beowulf becomes king of th eGeats and rules over them for 50 years.
-towards the end of his reign his country is devastated by a Dragon, the sentinel of an ancient treasure which has been looted by a runaway slaw, thus provoking its terrible guardian.

-Beowulf decides to fight th eDragon single-handed, and having armed himself with an iron sheild for protection against its flaming breath, sets out w/ 11 followers, including his kinsman Wiglaf.

-Before the battle commences the old king makes a long speech in which he recalls his youth, and especially the Geat feud with the Swedes.
-Taking leavie of his companions, he challenges the Dragon, but his sword breaks during th fight and he finds himself overwhelmed by the Dragon's firery exhalation.

-Terrified, all his friends run away except Wiglaf, who comes to his rescue.
-together they kill the Dragon; but Beowulf has been mortally wounded and dies in the arms of Wiglaf,

-filled with sorrow and anger, Wiglaf rebukes th erunaways, and sends a messenger to the Geats to announce th eking's death
-in his speech the messenger foretells the disasters that will follow the death of Beowulf, recalling their former wars with the Franks and Swedes and prophesying that they will take their revenge now that the hero is no longer there to protect his people.

-The Geats then visit th scene of the fight.
-they carry away teh treasurehoard and push the corpse of the Dragon over a cliff into the sea

-a funeral pyre is built, on which Beowulf's body is burnt
-over his remains the Geats build a huge mound, in which th Dragon's treasure is placed
-12 warriors ride round th ebarrow lamenting Beowulf and praising his virtues
what scene do the poems end and begin with?

begins: youth
end: old age
***burning of Hrothgar's hall, and the usurpation of the Danish throne by his nephew Hrothulf, are more than once alluded to in the poem**
**ironic scene of defeating Grendel**

When, Wealhtheow, hrothgar's wife, commends her sons to the generosity of her husband's nephew Hrothulf.
-this was the man who was destined to wade in her children's blood to the danish throne

-Hrothgar's court poet sings a song about Finn affords the grim analogues of which the Beowulf poet was so fond
*song was about a blood feud in which a queen is torn between opposing loyalties owed to her husband and to her bro who fought on different sides
who was the blood feud between?

what attempts to solve this feud?
Hrothgar's people, Danish and the Heathobards

-settle this feud by marrying his own daughter FREAWARU to INGELD, the leader of the Heathobards
*feud between Beowulfs people: the Geats vs. Franks & Swedes*
Grendel and his mother are evil that will overtake th3 Danes, and the Dragon to destroy th eGeats
historical elements in Beowulf
Hrothgar, Danish king: historical character

Heorot: village of Leire on island of Seeland in Denmark

Geat king Hyggelac really existed
-his unlucky expedition against ht eFranks is mentioned by Gregory of Tours in the Histria Francorum in 521 AD
famous image in Bede's Ecclesiastical history composed in Latin
compares a man's life to a sparrow flying from the winter tdarkness into a lighted hall, into the warmth and cheerfulness of the moment, then out once more into the night
saying for everything must come to an end
life is ephemeral, everything vanishes, light and life together

-anglo sax characteristic
praise-fame is th emost precious thing that a man can halve bc it is all that survives in a very transient world
is Beowulf a Christian or pagan hero?

The poet of Beowulf avoids th eopen and disconcerting anachronisms
Beowulf is an ideal hero and king
-compared with Heremod, a Danish king who was an example of the worst kind of leader
-he was crulel, parsimonious, and took the lives of his own retainers
characteristics of a king
-guardians of their people
-expected to look after the booth that they and their followers had won, and to share it generously and equitably

-great virtue: loyality
-worst crime: treachery
code of blood feud
death of a man the vengeance of his kinsmen and retainers; it was their moral and social obligation

most horrifying and unforgivable crime: murder of a blood-relation
-epic: construction, plot, narrative interest

-translating not only from one language to another but from one form to another. POETRY->PROSE
aka of BEOWULF
-son of Ecgtheow
-kinsmen of Hygelac
*King Scyld Scefing**
-father of Beowulf (not hero beo)

His body was put into a boat, covered with treasures and armor, and cast off to sea. Shield Sheafson’s life ended as it began, with him cast adrift on the water.
Beowulf king ruled until Healfdene was born.

Healfdene, ruled the Danes all his life. 4 children?


Halga the Good

daughter: consort of Onela, the Swedish king
Hrothgar's rule
Under Hrothgar, the kingdom prospered and enjoyed great military success, and Hrothgar decided to construct a monument to his success—a mead-hall where he would distribute booty to his retainers. The hall was called Heorot, and there the men gathered with their lord to drink mead, a beerlike beverage, and listen to the songs of the bards.
God damned Grendel with the children of Cain
But, one night, Grendel, a demon descended from Cain (who, according to the Bible, slew his brother Abel), emerged from the swampy lowlands, to listen to the nightly entertainment at Heorot. The bards’ songs about God’s creation of the earth angered the monster. Once the men in the mead-hall fell asleep, Grendel lumbered inside and slaughtered thirty men. Hrothgar’s warriors were powerless against him.
For twelve years the king od Fanes suffered all kinds of misery and distress but he could not approach the treasure-throne of th eLord, nor could Grendel know His love
They make offerings at pagan shrines in hopes of harming Grendel, but their efforts are fruitless. The Danes endure constant terror, and their suffering is so extreme that the news of it travels far and wide.
Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow, got a ship to sail w/ Geats to see Hrothgar and they run into a coastguard wondering why they have come
Beowulf, nephew of the Geatish king Hygelac, is the greatest hero in the world. He lives in Geatland, a realm not far from Denmark, in what is now southern Sweden. When Beowulf hears tales of the destruction wrought by Grendel, he decides to travel to the land of the Danes and help Hrothgar defeat the demon. He voyages across the sea with fourteen of his bravest warriors until he reaches Hrothgar’s kingdom.
Seeing that the newcomers are dressed in armor and carrying shields and other equipment for combat, the watchman who guards the Danish coast stops Beowulf and his crew and demands to know their business. He admits that he has never seen outsiders come ashore so fearlessly and guesses that Beowulf is a noble hero. Beowulf explains that he is the son of Ecgtheow and owes his loyalty to Hygelac. He says that he has heard about the monster wreaking havoc on the Danes and has come to help Hrothgar. The watchman gives his consent and tells Beowulf that he believes his story.
He tells the Geats to follow him, mentioning that he will order one of the Danes to watch Beowulf’s ship for him.
Wendel prince, whose dcourage and acumen were famous
Beowulf had strength of 30 men in one hand
Hrothgar remembers him as a kid and he hopes that Beowulf has come to help the Danes against Grendel. He orders Wulfgar to welcome the Geats to Denmark.
Beowulf's dad killed Heatholaf
Hrothgar recounts a feud during which Beowulf’s father killed Heatholaf, a member of the Wulfing tribe. Hrothgar sent treasure to the Wulfings to mend the feud, and Beowulf’s father pledged his allegiance to Hrothgar.
Unferth's jealousy

underwater adventure
At the feast, a Dane named Unferth, envious of his kinsmen’s admiration of Beowulf, begins to taunt the Geat. He claims that Beowulf once lost a swimming match against Breca and that Beowulf will meet with defeat for a second time when he faces Grendel in the mead-hall. Unruffled, Beowulf accuses Unferth of drunkenness and describes his own version of what happened in the swimming match. Carrying swords to defend themselves against sea monsters, he and Breca had struggled in icy waters for five days and five nights when suddenly Beowulf found himself pulled under by a monster. After slaying the monster and eight other sea beasts, Beowulf was washed ashore on the coast of Finland. Beowulf notes that neither Unferth nor Breca could have survived such an adventure and mocks Unferth by pointing out his obvious helplessness against Grendel.
wealhtheow-wife of hrothgar
Wealhtheow, wife of Hrothgar and queen of the Danes, enters with the ceremonial goblet, which she offers to everyone in the room. She thanks God for sending Beowulf to fight Grendel, and Beowulf replies with a formal boast, stating that he will either distinguish himself with a heroic deed or die in the mead-hall. Pleased, Wealhtheow takes her seat next to Hrothgar.
wergild, or “death-price,”
a set price that one pays, as Hrothgar did on Ecgtheow’s behalf, to compensate the kin of anyone a warrior has killed. Paying the price of a man’s life is the only way to keep the cycle of vengeance that characterizes a feud from continuing indefinitely. Such a payment replaces the volley of violent retaliation with an exchange of obligation. Thus Beowulf is at Heorot both to avenge the death of so many Danes at the hands of Grendel and also to discharge his father’s debt to Hrothgar.
grendal vs. beowulf
Grendel longs to run back to the safety of the swamplands. He tries to escape, but Beowulf wrestles him down. The combatants crash around the hall, rattling the walls and smashing the mead-benches. Grendel begins to shriek in pain and fear; the sound terrifies all who hear it. Beowulf’s men heroically hack at the demon as Beowulf fights with him, but no weapon on earth is capable of harming Grendel. Beowulf summons even greater strength and rips Grendel’s arm completely out of its socket. Fatally wounded, Grendel slinks back to his swampy home to die. Back in the mead-hall, Beowulf holds up his gory trophy in triumph. He proudly hangs the arm high on the wall of Heorot as proof of his victory.
Danish warriors are amazed at Beowulf’s accomplishment. They race around on horseback in celebration, following the tracks of Grendel’s retreat to the marshes. Beowulf’s renown begins to spread rapidly. A Danish bard sings Beowulf’s story to honor him
danish bard sings of Sigemund
a great hero who slew a terrible dragon. The dragon was the guardian of a treasure hoard, which Sigemund won by slaying the dragon. The bard also sings of, and contrasts Beowulf with, Heremod, an evil Danish king who turned against his own people.
Hrothgar grants him rewards
Beowulf receives Hrothgar’s gratitude with modesty, expressing disappointment that he did not kill Grendel in the hall so that all could have seen the demon’s corpse. The narrator mentions that the trophy arm, which seems to be made of “barbed steel,” has disproved Unferth’s claims of Beowulf’s weakness.

Hrothgar hosts a great banquet in honor of Beowulf. He bestows upon him weapons, armor, treasure, and eight of his finest horses. He then presents Beowulf’s men with rewards and compensates the Geats with gold for the Geatish warrior that Grendel killed.
king’s scop comes forward to sing the saga of Finn
the Danes losing a bloody battle to Finn, the king of the Frisians, a neighbor tribe to the Danes. The Danish leader, Hnaef, is killed in the combat. Recognizing their defeat, the Danes strike a truce with the Frisians and agree to live with them separately but under common rule and equal treatment. Hildeburh, a Danish princess who is married to Finn, is doubly grieved by the outcome of the battle: she orders that the corpses of her brother, the Danish leader Hnaef, and her son, a Frisian warrior, be burned on the same bier. The Danes, homesick and bitter, pass a long winter with the Frisians. When spring comes, they rise against their enemies. Finn is then defeated and slain, and his widow, Hildeburh, is returned to Denmark
Wealhtheow presents Beowulf with a torque (a collar or necklace) of gold and a suit of mail armor, asking again that he guide her sons and treat them kindly.
Wealhtheow enters, wearing a gold crown, and praises her children, Hrethric and Hrothmund. She says that when Hrothgar dies, she is certain that the children will be treated well by their older cousin, Hrothulf, until they come of age. She expresses her hope that Beowulf too will act as a friend to them and offer them protection and guidance.
Grendel's mom takes her son's arm in the mead hall and Hrothgar's advisor, Aeschere
Hrothgar entreats Beowulf to seek out and kill Grendel’s mother, describing the horrible, swampy wood where she keeps her lair. The place has a magical quality. The water burns and the bottom of the mere, or lake, has never been reached. Even the animals seem to be afraid of the water there.
Hrothgar tells Beowulf that he must depend on him a second time to rid Heorot of a demon. He says that he will give him chests of gold if he rises to the challenge. Beowulf agrees to the fight, reassuring Hrothgar that Grendel’s mother won’t get away. The warriors mount up and ride into the fens, following the tracks of their enemy.
When they reach a cliff’s edge, they discover Aeschere’s head lying on the ground. The scene below is horrifying: in the murky water, serpents and sea-dragons writhe and roil. Beowulf slays one beast with an arrow.
Unferth loans him the great and seasoned sword Hrunting, which has never failed in any battle. Beowulf speaks, asking Hrothgar to take care of the Geats and return his property to Hygelac if he, Beowulf, should be killed. He also bequeaths his own sword to Unferth.
Grendal's ma vs. Beowulf
Beowulf swims downward for the better part of a day before he sees the bottom. As he nears the murky lake floor, Grendel’s mother senses his approach. She lunges at him and clutches him in her grip, but his armor, as predicted, prevents her from crushing him. She drags Beowulf to her court, while a mass of sea-monsters claws and bites at him. Beowulf wields Hrunting, the sword lent to him by Unferth, and lashes at Grendel’s mother’s head, but even the celebrated blade of Hrunting is unable to pierce the monster’s skin. Beowulf tries to fight the sea-witch using only his bare hands, but she matches him blow for blow. At last, he notices a sword hanging on the wall, an enormous weapon forged for giants. Beowulf seizes the huge sword and swings it in a powerful arc. The blade slices cleanly through the Grendel’s mother’s neck, and she falls dead to the floor, gushing with blood. The hero is exultant. A light appears, and Beowulf looks around, his sword held high in readiness.
Beowulf sees Grendal's body
He spies Grendel’s corpse lying in a corner. Furious at the sight of the fiend, he decapitates Grendel as a final repayment for all of the lives that Grendel took.

he blade of the giant’s sword begins to melt, burned by Grendel’s fiery blood. Beowulf seizes its hilt, which remains solid and, grasping Grendel’s head in his other hand, swims for the surface. He finds that the waters he passes through are no longer infested now that the demon has been destroyed. When he breaks the surface, the Geats are overjoyed as they advance to meet him and unfasten his armor.
ppl think Beo has lost bc of blood
On land, the Danes lose hope when they see blood well up from the depths. Sure that their champion is lost, they return to Heorot in sorrow. Only the small band of Geats, Beowulf’s kinsmen, waits on.
celebration and praise
The group returns to Heorot in triumph. Four men impale the heavy head of Grendel on a spear and lug it between them. When they arrive at the hall, the Danes gawk at the head in horror and amazement. Beowulf presents the head and the sword hilt to Hrothgar, assuring him of his future security. Hrothgar praises Beowulf’s goodness, evenness, and loyalty, contrasts him with the evil King Heremod, and predicts a great future for him. He delivers a long speech about how to be a good and wise ruler by choosing eternal rather than earthly rewards. Hrothgar then promises to shower Beowulf with treasure the following morning.
12 treasures

sail back to Geatland
Another banquet ensues, with great feasting and revelry. Afterward, Beowulf retires to get some much-needed rest. In the morning, he has Hrunting returned to Unferth and tells Hrothgar that he and his men long to return home to Geatland. Hrothgar praises Beowulf again, saying that he has united the Geats and the Danes in ties of friendship and loyalty. He presents Beowulf with twelve treasures. Despite his urgings that Beowulf return to Denmark soon, Hrothgar knows that he will never see Beowulf again. The Geats return to the coast, where they grant a reward to the watchman who has guarded their ship. They then sail back to Geatland and return to the hall of Hygelac.
Beowulf and his men return
to the magnificent hall of King Hygelac and to Queen Hygd, who is beautiful and wise, though very young.
The narrator tells the story of the legendary Queen Modthryth,
who “perpetrated terrible wrongs” against her subjects, torturing and even killing many innocent people who she imagined were offending her. Modthryth’s behavior improved, we are told, once she was married to the great king of the Angles, Offa.
Beowulf and his men approach the hall, where the Geats, who have heard that their hero has returned, are preparing for his arrival.
Hygelac extends a formal greeting while Hygd pours mead for the warriors. Hygelac asks Beowulf how he fared in the land of Hrothgar, recalling that he had known that Beowulf’s task would be a fearsome one and that he had advised Beowulf not to face such a dangerous foe.
Beowulf begins his tale by describing the courteous treatment that he received from Hrothgar and Wealhtheow. He then prophesies an unhappy outcome to the peace-weaving engagement of Freawaru, Hrothgar’s daughter, to Ingeld the Heathobard.
He predicts that the sight of the ancestral possessions of each worn by the kin of the other (the result of many years of warring and plundering) will cause memories of the deep and lengthy feud between the Danes and the Heathobards to surface, so that they will not be able to keep themselves from continuing to fight.
Beo presents his king with a large part of the treasure given to him by Hrothgar, including suits of armor and four of the great horses. He gives Hygd a priceless necklace—the torque given him by Wealhtheow—and three horses.
Beowulf is praised throughout Geatland for his valorous deeds and courteousness. Hygelac gives him a great deal of treasure and land of his own to rule.
In time, Hygelac is killed in battle with the Shylfings,
and the kingdom falls to Beowulf. For fifty years he rules the Geats, becoming a great and wise king.
A great dragon lurks beneath the earth, jealously guarding its treasure, until one day a thief manages to infiltrate the barrow, or mound, where the treasure lies.
The thief steals a gem-covered goblet, arousing the wrath of the dragon. The intruder, a slave on the run from a hard-handed master, intends no harm by his theft and flees in a panic with the goblet.
he last survivor of an ancient race buried the treasure in the barrow when he realized that the treasure would be of no use to him because he, like his ancestors, was destined to die. He carefully buried the precious objects, lamenting all the while his lonely state. The defeat of his people had left the treasures to deteriorate. The dragon chanced upon the hoard and has been guarding it for the past three hundred years.
Waking up to find the goblet stolen, the dragon bursts forth from the barrow to hunt the thief, scorching the earth as it travels.
Not finding the offender, the dragon goes on a rampage, breathing fire and incinerating homes and villages. It begins to emerge nightly from its barrow to torment the countryside, still seething with rage at the theft.
Soon, Beowulf’s own throne-hall becomes the target of the dragon’s fiery breath, and it is burned to the ground.
Now an old king, Beowulf grieves and wonders what he might have done to deserve such punishment from God. He begins to plot his revenge. He commissions a mighty shield from the iron-smith, one that he hopes will stand up against the breath of flame. He is too proud to assemble a huge army for the fight, and, remembering how he defeated Grendel single-handedly in his youth, feels no fear of the dragon.
The poet recounts the death of King Hygelac in combat in Friesland.
Hygelac fell while Beowulf survived thanks to his great strength and swimming ability. Upon returning home, Beowulf was offered the throne by the widowed Hygd, who knew that her own son was too young and inexperienced to be an effective ruler. Beowulf declined, however, not wanting to disturb the order of succession. Instead, he acted as protector and guardian to the prince and supported his rule. Only when Hygelac’s son met his end in a skirmish against the Swedes did Beowulf ascend the throne. Under Beowulf’s reign, the feuding with Sweden eventually ceased when Beowulf avenged Hygelac’s death.
Now, ready to face one last adversary, Beowulf gathers eleven men to investigate the area.
They discover the thief who stole the dragon’s goblet and press him to take them to the barrow. They wish each other luck in the fight that will follow, and Beowulf has a premonition of his own death. On the cliff outside the barrow, Beowulf speaks to his men, recounting his youth as a ward in King Hrethel’s court. He tells of the accidental killing of one of Hrethel’s sons by another and attempts to characterize the king’s great grief. He describes the wars between the Geats and the Swedes after Hrethel’s death, recalling his proud days as a warrior in the service of Hygelac. He then makes his final boast: he vows to fight the dragon, if only it will abandon its barrow and face him on open ground.
we find out about a significant gesture of generosity on Beowulf’s part toward Hygelac’s son.
By declining the throne and taking on the guardianship of the young heir until the heir comes of age, Beowulf shows that his attitude toward power is neither ambitious nor mercenary. He thus stands in contrast to the power-hungry usurper Hrothulf. In proclaiming of Beowulf that “He was a good king,” the poet echoes his praise of the venerable Shield Sheafson and of Hrothgar (2390).
The tragic story of the death of Hrethel’s son at the hands of his own brother offers an echo of the earlier case of divided loyalty in the Finnsburg episode.
There, the Danish princess Hildeburh was distressed by the fact that her son and her brother were at war, fighting on opposite sides, and that ultimately both were killed. Here, the tension is similar but even more frustrating. Hrethel’s grief at the accident is great, but because of the peculiar circumstances surrounding his son’s death, Hrethel is locked in inaction. Under the heroic code, grief is something to be purged through vengeance, but vengeance here would mean the death of another son—an excruciating and unsatisfying prospect.
Beowulf vs dragon
Beowulf bids farewell to his men and sets off wearing a mail-shirt and a helmet to fight the dragon. He shouts a challenge to his opponent, who emerges from the earth. Man and dragon grapple and wrestle amid sheets of fire. Beowulf hacks with his sword against the dragon’s thick scales, but his strength is clearly not what it once was.
loyalty of soldiers
As the flames billow, Beowulf’s companions run in terror. Only one, Wiglaf, feels enough loyalty to come to the aid of his king. Wiglaf chides the other warriors, reminding them of their oaths of loyal service to Beowulf. Now the time has come when their loyalty will be tested, Wiglaf declares, and he goes by himself to assist his lord.
Beowulf is attacked
Beowulf strikes the dragon in the head with his great sword Naegling, but the sword snaps and breaks. The dragon lands a bite on Beowulf’s neck, and blood begins to flow.
Wiglaf interferes and Beo stabs
Wiglaf rushes to Beowulf’s aid, stabbing the dragon in the belly, and the dragon scorches Wiglaf’s hand. In desperation Beowulf pulls a knife from his belt and stabs it deep into the dragon’s flank. The blow is fatal, and the writhing serpent withers. x
Beo will die
But no sooner has Beowulf triumphed than the wound on his neck begins to burn and swell. He realizes that the dragon bite is venomous and that he is dying. He sends Wiglaf to inspect the dragon’s treasure and bring him a portion of it, saying that death will be easier if he sees the hoard that he has liberated.
Wiglaf gets treasure
Wiglaf descends into the barrow and quickly returns to Beowulf with an armload of treasure. The old king, dying, thanks God for the treasure that he has won for his people. He tells Wiglaf that he must now look after the Geats and order his troop to build him a barrow that people will call “Beowulf’s Barrow.” After giving Wiglaf the collar from his own neck, Beowulf dies.
The Geats then rise and go to Beowulf’s body. They discover also the fearsome, fifty-foot-long corpse of the dragon. It is revealed that the hoard had been under a spell, so that no person could open it except by the will of God.
Wiglaf recounts Beowulf’s last requests and readies the people to build his funeral pyre. With seven of the greatest Geatish thanes, Wiglaf returns to the dragon’s bier to collect the treasure that Beowulf bought with his life. They hurl the dragon’s body into the water.
funeral pyre
The pyre is built high and decked with armor, according to Beowulf’s wishes. The body is laid in and the fire is lit—its roar competes with the sound of weeping. A Geatish woman laments Beowulf’s death and grieves about the war-torn future that she foresees for her people. The Geats place Beowulf’s remains on a cliff high above the sea in a barrow that will be visible to all passing ships. Sorrowfully, they recount that their king was kind and generous to his people, fair-minded, and eager to earn praise.