Beowulf’s funeral Imagine having a leader, a superhero who is unbeatable, slays all the enemies in his land and his victory and heroic acts travels from territories to territories and even reaches the noble ears of the king who seeks his esteemed strength to fight evil and dragons. Unbelievable, isn’t it? But true, that is how Beowulf the great superhero and leader of the Geats was and his loss was felt by all no wonder his funeral which will be discussed below was an exceptional event where funeral rites and culture was not followed because he was simply not an ordinary person even in his death.
The largest and hottest fire ever built in Geat and from the imported pyre wood is blazing on the barrow. The wailing and mourning of their great leader from the Geatish people is louder than the winds, even the men who are warriors are lamenting their great loss. The roaring of the fire together with all the heat and smoke it is emitting that no one seems to notice or even care about is a clear sign that the death is all that matters to them right now and giving their all for the best funeral is all that matters at the moment.
No one seems to care about the noise that is a combination of wailing, mourning, lamenting and talking all at the same time. All this is going on concurrently with the funeral pile preparation. The funeral pile is surrounded by war clothes and items like helmets, battle shields that are made from strong wood and even bright corselets in honor of the great war hero Beowulf whose death after a long battle with the dragon and killing it has made it more superhuman. As the smoke rises towards the heavens, there are talks of what a great leader Beowulf was and how evil death is to take him away from them after bearing over fifty winters being their leader (Haley, 105).
The barrow is surrounded with a beacon and it continues to rise as people of Geat surround it with an adornment of war garments, jewels (made of gold to indicate wealth, dignity and importance of the dead) and even circlets. Most of the jewels and circlets being used to surround the barrow is from the slain dragon that the men rolled over the cliff. A wall is being built by the men and it is surrounding the flames of the fire. They want the final outcome to look like a promontory that people far away in the sea can view it and acknowledge the leadership and death of Beowulf. The barrow is complete now and the mourning continues.
There are twelve men who are said to be offspring of the noblemen and they are now riding round the barrow lamenting and mourning their king. Some of them are narrating great stories of his heroic acts and courageous prowess in the battlefield. The praise is now taking over the lamenting and mourning and most people are now just praising him and his kindest to his people and his mildest with his men. The sadness in the air as the Geatish people pay their last respect to their king with the mourning and lamenting even by some of the noble and strong men is an indication of the magnitude of their loss.
Haley, Albert. Beowulf. Massachusetts: Branden Books, 1978.