Wiglaf, along with Beowulf’s other warriors, watches Beowulf initiation his battle against the dragon. When the fight seems to be turning against Beowulf, however, all of the warriors except Wiglaf -flee. Wiglaf’s purpose in the poem, however , is more than simply someone to help Beowulf. Wiglaf is the model of a good warrior, and as a good warrior, Wiglaf demonstrates the importance of heroism to society and the necessity of loyalty to one’s kinsman and lord. He is willing to saccrifice his life to reciprocate the gifts which he received from his lord, but even more important, he symbolizes the need for cooperation between warrior and lord in order to preserve society against overwhelming odds Wiglaf also demonstrates the responsibility of the good warrior, a contrast to the cowardly warriors, who represent all that sciet shoud not emulate.
After Beowulf’s Battle with the dragon, Wiglaf reprimands the warrioirs who fled. Such cowardice, he says, reveals a national weakness and is an invitation for their enemies to attack. Wiglaf reminds them that the loss of Beowulf means no more gifts, a loss of land rights and everything that makes life joyous. Wiglaf emphasizes that death is preferable to a life without a lord; without a lord, man is adrift in a hostile world. During Beowulf’s battle with the dragon, the poet tells us that Beowulf is not “undoomed”, and after the battle during Wiglaf’s attempt to revive the old Warrioir, the poet reminds us that God not only has the power to preserve heroes in battle, but also to take life from them. He is saying at times, God dispenses victories, and at other times heroes lose their lives. Here, Beowulf loses his life. God allows Beowulf to avenge himself against the dragon and fight the good fight, but we must always remember a key idea of the heroic code: a hero mustfight- even thoughhe knows that he fights against fate.
Although Wiglaf is only a young warrior when he inherits the kingdom, heknows that the cowardice of the Geats will lead to their downfall. Other tribes who hear about the warrior’s failure to protect their king will surely swarm down upon them, hoping to take revenge for past hostilities. In short, Wiglaf is a doomed man. Hw has inherited a longstanding feud, and he must lead a people who seem inable or unwillingly to fight.
Beowulf Is A Hero
In the epic story of Beowulf, the hero is Beowulf.
Beowulf shows physical strength in the story by defeating Grendel. In line 219 of Grendel’s mother, it tells how Beowulf killed her. “…cut it through, broke bones and all.” His strength is also told in line 213 of how he “lifted the sword that was so massive that no ordinary man could lift.” Beowulf’s determination, or his will to win, was throughout the story, even up until his death. A quote that describes this is, “…he cut the beast in half, slit it apart. It fell…”(line 185). He shows courage along with his cousin, Wiglaf, when they defeat the fire dragon. In line 189 it says, “…their courage had killed it, two noble cousins had joined in the dragon’s death.”
Beowulf also shows courage in all of his battles. His intelligence is far above any others. He used the sword made by the giants to kill Grendel’s mother. In lines 210-222, it describes how he was quick and saw the sword “hammered by giants, strong and blessed with their magic…and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through…”
Beowulf was altruistic because he always put the needs of others before his own. His whole reason for coming to Herot was to help the people against Grendel. He even stayed to defeat Grendel’s mother and the fire dragon. “My life was almost lost, fighting for it, struggling under water: I’d have been dead at once, and the fight finished, if our Father in Heaven had not helped me.” (Line 310). In the story, Beowulf is also a Tragic Hero. He possesses goodness by telling the king of the Danes in lines 1-8 that he is honored to be there helping them. Beowulf shows superiority in the story. “I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well.” (Line 76). I believe that his tragic flaw is that he was too sure of himself, and never brought the right weapon to fight with. In line 113 it tells how his sword broke into bits after striking the dragon. Beowulf’s tragic realization is that he knew that it was his time, because he believed in the Lord.