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Beowulf’s Dragon Fight And The Appraisal Of Oferhygd

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Chapter Summary

One of the exceptional merits of Leyerles article has been to harmonize the first two parts of Beowulfthe Grendel fights and homecoming with the enigmatic single combat of the dragon episode. The impulse to exonerate Beowulf from any whiff of oferhygd has entailed some scrupulous readings of this episode, outlining the precise issues that would impugn Beowulf s judgment. The narrators opinion that the dragon wrongly held the treasure and the slaves unintended offense make a case for the dragons evil nature. Beowulf turns to a story to reflect on a pivotal childhood incident as an evaluation of his present circumstances. Beowulf s attitude toward the dragons treasure has always been raised as a sign of his moral virtue in the dragon fight, and it influences any evaluation of Beowulf s potential oferhygdor whether he fights for the common good.

Keywords: Beowulf; dragon fight; oferhygd



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