Sigemund in Beowulf


Sigemund is the son of Wael who is compared to Beowulf for their similarity of courage, fearlessness and intrepidity. Hrothgar’s scopes sing about the tale of undaunted Sigemund who is a norse mythological figure. Legends regarding Sigemund circulate throughout the German speaking region of mediaeval Europe. Sigemund is famous for his dragon slaying and his story as a dragon slayer foreshadows Beowulf’s final battle with the dragon.The dragon is compared as ‘the guardian of the hoard’ in Sigemund’s story. Sigemund’s nephew’s name is Fitela. The scopes describe that–’Sigemund’s name was known everywhere’ or ‘his nature was utterly valiant and venturesome’–these shows Sigemund’s status as a mighty, bold and daring hero of that time.

The story of Sigemund, a story from Icelandic volsunga saga, is considered as a digression from the main story. As both Sigemund and Beowulf are dragon slayers, they have similarities between them. According to Fredrick Klaeber, “The story if Sigemund highlights how people have capable heroes and how Beowulf has managed to achieve what Sigemund was able to do during his time.” Moreover, the story reflects how the community reacts when a hero kills a dragon or any of their enemies. People consider them as community heroes and Beowulf has to undergo the same struggle as Sigemund to join the category of leaders like Sigemund, as a community hero.

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