Beowulf for beginners

Beowulf Faces the Dragon

beowulf was full of dark and troubled thoughts. For the dragon had blasted the very heart of the land, it had attacked the people's safety. Beowulf meant to pay it back for that.

He had a mighty shield made for him out of iron - he knew a wooden shield would be no use against fire. He would not go with a great army to face the far-flying dragon. Beowulf did not think much of the dragon's strength or fearlessness in the fight. He himself had survived so many dangers and fought in so many loud battles since he had freed Heorot all those years ago.

The Franks and the Frisians, the Swedes and the Hetware, all had felt the fury of Beowulf in battle. They had found out his sword-strength and the hardness of his hand-grip in their wars against the Geatish people. He was a war-wolf in battle.

Beowulf in his old age Now he marched with twelve shield-bearing men, bursting with anger, to meet the dragon. There was a thirteenth man in the group, the one who had stolen the cup from the treasure-hoard. He went as a captive to show the way. Otherwise he would not have been willing to see the dragon's home again.

'Wait there on the hill,' Beowulf told his men. 'I alone will deal with the dragon. For fifty years I have been your lord. Now I am old, but I will not flee from the fierce breather of fire. I boast to you that by my daring I will win this dragon's gold, or die.'

Home next