Wiglaf calls to the other ten retainers and reminds them of the promises that they made to Beowulf. In exchange for his protection and gifts, they all had vowed to fight for their king whenever he needed them. Even though Beowulf intended to deal with the dragon one-on-one, he now clearly needs help. The other thanes do not return. Although he realizes that he may die in the battle, Wiglaf rushes to Beowulf's defense. Wiglaf's wooden shield burns as the dragon attacks again. The young retainer ducks behind Beowulf's iron shield, which is no great help but is better than nothing. Beowulf musters the strength to swing his mighty sword, Naegling, one last time; unfortunately, it snaps on the dragon's head. The dragon charges again, piercing Beowulf's neck with his sharp fangs. Although his hand is sorely burned, Wiglaf finds a vulnerable spot well beneath the dragon's head and thrusts his sword into the monster.
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.