Beowulf

Literature
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

5) Why does Beowulf want to see the treasure?

As he lies dying, Beowulf demands to see the treasure he has won from the dragon. He may hope that the wealth he has captured will guarantee his lasting fame. He certainly hopes that this wealth will compensate his people for their loss of their king. However, the poem makes it clear that this hope is ill-founded. The treasure is “tarnished and corroding” (ll.2761-2), and much of it is re-buried with Beowulf.