He is more insightful than Beowulf. He understood what it meant to lose Beowulf, for the society as a whole. Wiglaf has energy and strength, and he has honor, and loves his king. He knows he is not capable of replacing Beowulf and anchoring the Geatish society, and that it will crumble. He even hastens it, by telling the newsbearers of the cowardice of his fellow warriors (which will bring feuding Swedish seeking a weak opponent to avenge past wrongs, plunder Geatish wealth, and kill many Geats). I wondered why he did this, instead of forestalling the inevitable a little while, and giving the Geats a chance to prepare.
- Desire for fame
- Desire for treasure, for his people
- Generous with his people and the kings he served, and with his gifts
- Too strong for most battle-swords
- Warrior code
- Didn’t see the futility of treasure
- Like a son to Hrothgar
- Didn’t listen to pride lecture by Hrothgar
- Thought that Wiglaf’s leadership would be enough to keep the Geatish people together
- Thought that the dragon’s treasure hoard, along with Wiglaf’s leadership, would be enough to keep the Geatish dynasty alive.