Who wears the red shield with the gold cross on it in Beowulf?

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In the text of Beowulf, both in the original Old English transliteration and in two different modern English translations, no character is mentioned as having a shield with such specific markings or characteristics. In fact, shields are generally given little regard in terms of details throughout the story; perhaps this is because they were considered temporary and disposable elements of war, being mostly made of wood, and not so likely to be inherited or to carry the distinction that a sword or body armor might.

Only a few shields are given specific details; Wiglaf's shield is mentioned as being "yellow lindenwood" (2610), which is destroyed by the dragon's fire. Beowulf ordered a shield specifically made for this encounter, one made entirely of iron (2338) because he knew lindenwood/"trees" would do him no good against fire. 

Shields are mentioned frequently in a metaphorical, emphatic or stressed sense, such as "shield-warrior" or "shield-fighter", but given the lack of detail given to them, especially in comparison to the attention devoted to swords, body armor and helms, shields seem to be of considerably less importance in an of themselves, and serve more as an emblem of war in a representative sense.

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