Beowulf Lines 3,058–3,182 Questions and Answers

Lines 3,058–3,182 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Wiglaf vainly attempt to tell Beowulf before he seeks the dragon?

2. According to Wiglaf, what are Beowulf’s post-mortem instructions?

3. Who is to bring wood for Beowulf’s funeral?

4. Why does Wiglaf bring the seven noblest Geats to the dragon’s treasure?

5. What is done with the dragon’s corpse?

6. How may the Geatish king’s funeral pyre be described?

7. What do the Geats do as the fire is burning?

8. How long does it take to build the tomb Beowulf has asked for?

9. Why do 12 of the bravest Geats ride around the tower?

10. In the closing lines of the poem, how does the poet describe Beowulf?

Answers
1. Wiglaf vainly attempts to persuade his king to leave the dragon sleeping with his treasure, for it will be too costly for the Geats to lose their king and be left leaderless should the dragon be the victor in this battle.

2. Beowulf instructs Wiglaf that, after his death, his body should be burned and the ashes brought to the dragon’s tower—which is to be made Beowulf’s tomb.

3. Only the leaders of the Geatish people—the landowners, the bravest, the wealthiest—are to gather the wood for Beowulf’s funeral.

4. The seven noblest Geats are brought to the treasure to gather from it what they can to place on Beowulf’s funeral pyre, so that it may be burned along with his body.

5. The dragon’s corpse is rolled off the cliff into the sea so that it may never be seen again.

6. Beowulf’s funeral pyre consists of his body and the treasure, surrounded by helmets and battle gear as Beowulf had requested.

7. While their king is being cremated, the Geats moan and lament his death. One old woman “groans” a song of misery for all of them.

8. It takes ten days for the Geats to make the tower tall and strong and seal both Beowulf’s ashes and the dragon’s treasure in this tomb.

9. Twelve of the bravest Geats ride around the tower to tell the stories of Beowulf’s glory and also of their own mourning.

10. In the closing lines of the poem, the poet describes Beowulf as “beloved leader,” the best king, the mildest prince, the man most open to his people, and “so deserving of praise.”