Beowulf: Introduction to Chapter 28

Beowulf, mighty warrior, monster slayer, king of the Geats, had fought his last battle, and was now dying from the venomous bite of a dragon he had slain with the aid of his young kinsman Wiglaf. Wiglaf tended the king as he lay dying, and brought some of the dragon’s hoard out for Beowulf to see. As Beowulf contemplated the gold, with his last words he bade Wiglaf to have a barrow built for him by the sea, and named Wiglaf his successor, as the last of his kinsmen. Beowulf, that mighty warrior, and the dragon, harrower of the Geats, lay dead then, each having slain the other. Those warriors that had abandoned Beowulf in the fight now approached, ashamed, and Wiglaf rebuked them for their cowardice.