What Is the Reason for the Tragic End of the Hero Beowulf?

Beowulf was too arrogant to admit he was too old for a hero’s role in the battle with the dragon. He wanted to achieve another feat and receive fame. He felt his death was near, but it did not stop him. After all, dying in a battle was the best end for a hero. So, hubris made Beowulf risk his life and brought him to a tragic end.

Beowulf was the role-model for any warrior in the Anglo-Saxon culture. He was brave, strong, loyal, and wise. But he had one feature that made him reckless: arrogance. Here is how the narrator identifies the reason that killed Beowulf: “Yet the prince of the rings was too proud to line up with a large army against the sky-plague.” Instead, he invited only eleven warriors to accompany him in his battle against the dragon. Ten of them ran away in fear when they saw the dragon’s fire. Wiglaf was the one to stay. By doing so, he proved to be worthy of the throne. 

Beowulf and Wiglaf bravely fought the dragon when Beowulf’s sword broke against the dragon’s skin. The serpent availed of the chance to bite him. The wound was deadly, but the king kept on fighting. Wiglaf hit the dragon in his stomach. It gave Beowulf a couple of seconds to take out the knife he wore on the belt. He stabbed the serpent, and it died.  

Beowulf asked Wiglaf to show him some of the dragon’s treasure. This fact highlights his hubris. Still, he positioned it as care about his people. But as we know, the treasure was buried in Beowulf’s barrow, and no one benefited from it. The Geats faced a decay after Beowulf’s death, so his end was pointless.

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