One day a fire-breathing dragon that has been guarding a treasure for hundreds of years is disturbed by a thief, who steals a cup. Beowulf strikes the dragon with his sword. The dragon comes at him again breathing fire. Wiglaf joins Beowulf, who again attacks the dragon single-handed; but the remnant of his sword shatters, and the monster wounds him in the neck. Wiglaf then strikes the dragon, and he and Beowulf together finally succeed in killing the beast.
While the battle was going on all of Beowulf's friends except his cousin Wiglaf, that had gone with him to the battle, ran away in fear. Although afraid for his life, Wiglaf, out of a sense of loyalty and kinship to his king, felt he needed to be there to support Beowulf.
“I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the fire-breather dares to face me.”
Beowulf confronts the dragon. The beast is protective of the treasure and rises up to battle with him pouring fire and flame.
“I’d use no sword, no weapon, if this beast could be killed without it. But his breath will be burning hot. When he comes to meI mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins. My heart is firm, my hands calm: I need no hot words."
I leave my sword to my son.Wiglaf, go, quickly, findThe dragon’s treasure. It's gold is ours.