Lines 3,058–3,182 Summary and Analysis
Wiglaf carries out Beowulf’s final instructions, explaining as he does so that Beowulf was worth far more than all of the gold and treasures, and that Beowulf should have left the dragon sleeping rather than risk the life that was so important to his people. Wiglaf leads seven of the noblest Geats past the treasure one last time to gather what they can of it in their arms to place on the funeral pyre with Beowulf. The dragon’s corpse is rolled off the cliff into the sea, never to be seen again, while wood is gathered for the pyre. Once the pyre is built and the Geatish king’s body placed upon it, surrounded by helmets and battle gear, the treasure is added. There is moaning and weeping as the pyre is ignited.
The Geats work for ten days on the tower near the sea to be used as Beowulf’s tomb. His ashes are sealed within it, along with the treasure. Twelve of the bravest Geats ride around the tower, telling the stories of Beowulf’s glory and of their own sorrow.
Discussion and Analysis
Beowulf, a lonely man, strives for glory during his life, and at his death is remembered as a worthy man. Yet, it...
(The entire section is 424 words.)