Ambiguity In Beowulf

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Although the plot line of the epic poem, Beowulf, is filled with many events and complications, it is concluded with an appropriate and fitting cessation. Beowulf illustrates the heroic escapades of the Geat warrior, Beowulf, as he kills powerful monsters to save the lives of others. After rescuing the Danes from demonic monsters, Beowulf becomes king of the Geats and rules well for fifty years until he meets his death in his encounter with a fire-breathing dragon. Since Beowulf was able to defend the Geats from impending rival nations, readers wonder how the Geats will fare without their powerful ruler to protect them. Although the poem is not without ambiguities, the ending of Beowulf appropriately concludes the epic as Beowulf’s bravery…show more content…
In the moments before his death, Beowulf “unclasped / the collar of gold from his neck and gave it / to [Wiglaf]” (2809-2810). By presenting Wiglaf with a treasure of gold, Beowulf indicates his complete faith in Wiglaf making the reader trust the young thane as well. Because of Beowulf’s approval and trust, Wiglaf is able to become king of the Geats giving the reader context as to what will happen to the Geats after Beowulf’s passing. It is from Beowulf’s trust and approval that Wiglaf becomes king. Wiglaf becoming king also provides context for the poem after Beowulf’s death. Wiglaf adds closure to the poem by becoming Beowulf’s successor. At Beowulf’s funeral, a Geat woman cries her fears about the future of the Geats: “She unburdened herself / of her worst fears, a wild litany / of nightmare and lament: her nation invaded, / enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles/ slavery and abasement” (3151-3155). While the Beowulf poet gives context regarding the future of the Geats, he doesn’t provide full details. While many consider this to be an artistic flaw as it doesn’t give readers the complete satisfaction of a conclusive ending, the uncertainty allows each reader to determine what they feel the fate of the Geats should be with the given information. The innovative conclusion of Beowulf provides much context concerning the fate of the Geats after Beowulf’s death while also…show more content…
It is in the poem’s conclusion where the virtues of loyalty are portrayed through Wiglaf and his devotion to Beowulf: “It is up to [Wiglaf] to look after [the Geats'] needs" (2800-2801). Because Wiglaf was compensated so richly for helping Beowulf slay the dragon, the reader learns that loyalty will be rewarded. Furthermore, the conclusion of the story also conveys to the reader about evils of pride. When Beowulf decides to battle the dragon, he decides to fight by himself out of pride: "Men at arms, remain here on the barrow, safe in your armour, to see which one of us is better in the end at bear in wounds in a deadly fray. This fight is not yours" (2529-2532). Because of Beowulf's pride, he refuses to have backup when fighting the dragon. Only when Wiglaf steps in is Beowulf able to win the battle. Had Beowulf put his pride aside and encouraged the soldiers to fight alongside him, he would have survived the battle. Through Beowulf, the Beowulf poet teaches that pride can cloud good judgement. The conclusion of Beowulf finishes the teachings of many major morals. Concluding the poem with morals gives the poem more meaning and

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