Essay On The Dragon In Beowulf

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In the epic of Beowulf, the dragon symbolizes evil and death. Beowulf, subsequently defeating Grendel and Grendel’s mother, he decides to go after the monstrous dragon. Who both are evil characters in the story and their deaths are what the dragon represents. From a biblical point of view, it is almost as if the dragon represents the devil. The dragon ignited the Geats homes and land to ashes. However, this caused Beowulf to fight the dragon. Knowing he is aging, he cannot fight the dragon on his own, and decided to ask the Thanes to help him to finish his last quest. The Thanes decide to participate, but quickly leave in terror due to the dragon’s fiery breath, leaving Wiglaf at his side (Beowulf. 3066-3075). The fire he emits on Beowulf’s men is representative of the fire in hell. The slave who…show more content…
In Grendel the dragon completely portrays what it is exemplified to be in Beowulf. The dragon plays as a minor part as an omniscient character. To Grendel, the dragon is like a mentor or an intellectual companion. Grendel goes to the dragon for advice because he believes the dragon is wise, in which he is. “My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.” (Gardner 74). Through this conversation with the Dragon, Grendel is introduced to nihilism. The Dragon tells Grendel “I know everything, you see… The beginning, the present and the end.” (Gardner 62). He is also seen as stubborn and greedy because he sits in his lair all day long and counts his treasures. But, while giving Grendel advice about the humans he tells him that the humans need him to ameliorate themselves. The dragon ends up giving Grendel a power that makes him immortal and inevitable to humans and their weapons. Although Grendel is frightened of the dragon, the humans are also afraid of Grendel. Grendel is not ready to commit to the rivalry between him and the humans but the dragon coaxes him to continue his feud with the
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