Beowulf is an epic poem written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon. In Beowulf the dragon is a very powerful character because he can represent both good and evil. It depends on the perspective you look at him in. He's either standing for his culture and his dead race, or terrifying all the Geat people. The dragon represents protection, fierce, anger, fire, and past culture. Whenever the dragon appears in Beowulf, it stands for terror, anger, fear, and culture of his people.
In Beowulf, the dragon, first of all, represents terror because he is a symbol of fear, and manslaughter. He frightened the people of Geatland and made them think there race was about to be terminated. A dragon is a scary image, when anyone thinks of it they think of terror and being fearful. The people did not want to die and didn't want there gorgeous land to be destroyed. They wished for Beowulf to come and rescue them all from the dreadful fire-breathing monster. "until one began/ to dominate the dark, a dragon on the prowl/ from the steep vaults of a stone-roofed barrow/ where he guarded a hoard; there was a hidden passage,/ unknown to men, but someone managed/ to inter by it and interfere/ with the heathen throve \. He had handled and removed/ a gem studded goblet; it gained him nothing,/ though with a thief's wiles he outwitted/ the sleeping dragon; that drove him into rage,/ as the people of that country would soon discover." (Heaney) Page 151 line 2211. The dragon destroyed many Geats land and houses. He might have overreacted a little on having only one gem stolen from him out of all that treasure he has in his subterranean passage. The dragon murder all these innocent people that have nothing to do with his treasure bring stolen. Why does he have to penalize them? Only if the dragon could understand that this slave had nothing. The man thought the dragon would not notice if he steals one little gem. "the slick- skinned dragon, threatened the night sky/ with...
Cited: Heaney, Seamus, trans. Beowulf. New York: Norton, 2000
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