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.
Story[ edit ] After his battles against Grendel's mother and GrendelBeowulf returns to homeland and becomes king of the Geats. 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. The Geats run away in fear, leaving only Beowulf and his young companion Wiglaf to slay the dragon.
In his death-speech, Beowulf nominates Wiglaf as his heir, and that of the treasure. Sigurd and Fafnir by Arthur Rackhamfrom his illustrations for Richard Wagner 's Siegfried and The Twilight of the Gods Beowulf is the oldest extant heroic poem in English literature and the first to present a dragon slayer.
The legend of the dragonslayer already existed in Norse sagas such as the tale of Sigurd and Fafnirand the Beowulf poet incorporates motifs and themes common to dragon-lore in the poem.
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.
Tolkien considered the dragon in Beowulf to be one of only two real dragons in northern European literature, writing of it, "dragons, real dragons, essential both to the machinery and the ideas of a poem or tale, are actually rare. In northern literature there are only two that are significant Tolkien expands on Beowulf's dragon in his own fiction, which indicates the lasting impact of the Beowulf poem.
The dragon fight ends Beowulf, while Tolkien uses the dragon motif and the dragon's love for treasure to trigger a chain of events in The Hobbit.
European dragon The Beowulf dragon is the earliest example in literature of the typical European dragon and first incidence of a fire-breathing dragon. In the Septuagint Bible, Job 's monster is characterized as a draco, and identified with the devil. In Beowulf's two earlier battles, Grendel and Grendel's mother are characterised as descendants of Cain: The dragon, therefore, is a stark contrast to the other two antagonists.
He burns vast amounts of territory and the homes of the Geats: The dragon fight is foreshadowed with earlier events: Scyld Shefing 's funeral and Sigmund's death by dragon, as recounted by a bard in Hrothgar's hall. Beowulf scholar Alexander writes that the dragon fight likely signifies Beowulf's and by extension, society's battle against evil.
Beowulf's eventual death from the dragon presages "warfare, death, and darkness" for his Geats.In part one of the Epic, Beowulf, the reader is given a glimpse of the horror that is Grendel, and the devastation he brings to the people of Heorot.
Banished by God, Grendel lives in exile with bitter hatred for all men, and decides to punish the people of Heorot. Beowulf is an epic poem composed in Old English consisting of 3, lines.
It is written in the alliterative verse style, which is common for Old English poetry as well as works written in languages such as Old High German, Old Saxon, and Old Norse.
Beowulf is considered one of the oldest surviving poems in the English language. The author of the poem is unknown and is generally referred to.
Grendel was evil because he killed people and caused destruction while Beowulf was doing good by protecting his people. Beowulf does not let the dead keep him from obtaining glory, while Hrothgar hangs back.
(That's why Beowulf is the epic hero.) When fighting the dragon, Beowulf is older, needs assistance, and dies. What does Beowulf.
BEOWULF AS EPIC Function, Context and Genre A representative contemporary effort is that of the Freudian James Earl in his recent book Thinking About “Beowulf”().
Beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. The setting of the epic is the sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden. In the epic Old English poem Beowulf, Beowulf is a heroic warrior who battles Grendel, a golem like creature.
He goes on to have his own kingdom for years but a dragon comes to destroy it.