This is significant to the idea that Beowulf has been reborn a king since he emerged from the lake, a birthing image, and is upheld as the true lord. Other possible descendants of Wiglaf include the last Mercian king,. If he is not as mighty as his heroic predecessor, he certainly lacks nothing in courage and loyalty. As a tale reflecting the noble deeds of a hero, it uniquely expresses the cultural values of the Anglo-Saxons from whom it originated since heroes often do reflect the best of what their culture deems worthwhile. Wiglaf gathers some of the treasure and returns to Beowulf, who thanks God that he could win such treasures for his people before he dies.
At the start of 937 Words 4 Pages the Roman Empire. . Outside Mercia, the power of the kingdom of Wessex, to the south, was strong and growing when Wiglaf came to the throne. His bravery and solid bearing provide the single glint of optimism in the final part of the story, which, for the most part, is dominated by a tone of despair at what the future holds. As Beowulf is dying, he gives his golden necklace, called a torque, to Wiglaf, probably symbolizing the transfer of power from the dying king to his chosen successor.
See Swanton, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, p. In the mid-7th century, for example, had placed royal kinsmen in control of conquered provinces. In 825 Beornwulf was decisively defeated by at the battle of , and died the next year in an unsuccessful invasion of East Anglia. Wiglaf brings some of the treasure to his leader who is near death. In this view, the withdrawal of Frankish influence would have left East Anglia, Mercia and Wessex to find a balance of power not dependent on outside aid. Ecgberht's influence was certainly reduced after 830, but Mercia never recovered control of the south-east, except possibly for Essex; and East Anglia remained independent. Who's Who in Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England.
The Rhenish and Frankish commercial networks collapsed at some time in the 820s or 830s, and in addition, a rebellion broke out in February 830 against , the first of a series of internal conflicts that lasted through the 830s and beyond. London, where Ecgberht apparently lost control of the mint, remained a Mercian town through Wiglaf's second reign and beyond. Dynastic uncertainty has been suggested as the reason for Mercia's collapse; the 820s were certainly years of instability in the royal line. Wiglaf, although less indicated in this motif, still shares a common parallel in the fact that he begins his battle with the dragon as a thane and ends as a king. Beowulf wants to see some of the riches.
In 829, Ecgberht of Wessex successfully invaded Mercia and drove Wiglaf from his throne. Beowulf frequently speaks of God throughout the story, while there are also many Pagan elements that are evident throughout the story as well. Wiglaf has earned the right to rule, not inherited it. These ideals, which were popular in their corresponding eras, in some ways contrast and in other… 1154 Words 5 Pages The Role of Wiglaf in Beowulf Seemingly minor character Wiglaf plays a central role in the conclusion of Beowulf. Wigstan's grandfathers were Wiglaf and Ceolwulf I; the tradition might be interpreted to mean that Wiglaf descended from Penda, but it might also be Wiglaf's wife, Cynethryth, who was descended from Penda. It appears that , the archbishop of Canterbury at the time of Ecgberht's victory, remained loyal to Mercia: his coinage terminates when Ecgberht's Kentish coinage begins; and since a charter of 838 shows Ecgberht agreeing to return property to the church in Canterbury it is evident that he had seized property from the church earlier.
These distractions may have reduced Louis's ability to support Ecgberht. He sends a messenger to tell the other Geats what has happened. This may show that Wiglaf remained subject to Ecgberht's overlordship after 830, though most historians consider Wiglaf to have recovered his independence at that time. He is an emotional character that remembers all that Beowulf has done for him in the past. One is that descendants of different lines of the royal family competed for the throne. Wiglaf's recovery was not complete.
The lack of detailed information about Mercian and Wessex administration makes other theories hard to evaluate: for example it has been suggested that the West Saxons had a stable tributary system that contributed to its success, or that Wessex's mixed Saxon and British population, natural frontiers, and capable administrators were key factors. Wiglaf is a young Geatish warrior in Beowulf's retinue who follows him to the barrow where the dragon is lurking. When Herot was ravaged by Grendel and his mother, Hrothgar lacked both the strength and the courage to defend his people. Distressed by his king's situation, Wiglaf throws all care aside and attacks, even though his fighting hand is seriously burned in the process. Wiglaf sees wonderful tapestry, jewels, gold in various forms, and a golden standard hanging over the riches, emitting a strange light like that in the cave.
He takes stock of his life: he ruled for fifty years, no enemy dared confront him, he never sought feuds, and never made improper oaths, or killed kinsman. Consistent with the heroic code, they promised to come to the assistance of their king if he ever needed them. Wiglaf died in about 839, and was eventually succeeded by , though one tradition records his son, as having reigned briefly. Beowulf is poisoned from the dragon's fangs and bleeding badly. He attempts to shame them into action, but no one returns. His generosity is one of the virtues for which he is admired. Beowulf musters the strength to swing his mighty sword, Naegling, one last time; unfortunately, it snaps on the dragon's head.
His successor, Ludeca, of unknown lineage, also invaded East Anglia, and like Beornwulf died while campaigning there, in 827. Beowulf sits near the wall of the cave as Wiglaf washes his wound. Furthermore, the two characters mirror each other in motifs of the story such as the father and son 92. The bond between Beowulf and Wiglaf is apparent as the king speaks to the young man and Wiglaf tries to comfort him. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, reprinted with corrections 2006.
It is Wiglaf's blow that slows the serpent and decreases his firepower, thus enabling Beowulf to manage one last thrust with a knife that opens the dragon's belly and kills him. When comparing the translated poem, Beowulf, to the 2005 motion picture, Beowulf and Grendel…. That is unthinkable, unless we have first slain the foe and defended the life of the prince of the Weather-Geats. The final battle features the kind of staccato interchange that the Beowulf poet depicts so well. The old man has protected his people well; no one dared to attack the Geats for 50 years. In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, vengeance plays a central role in the actions of the characters. The unknown author of Beowulf, leaves behind a mystique, an intriguing quality with which the character which hold our interest.