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Unformatted text preview: The dragon is the final test for Beowulf, a test of his wisdom as well as his courage. The problem starts when a fugitive, apparently a runaway slave, stumbles across the dragon's treasure-trove. The ancient treasures in the hoard once belonged to a regional tribe of warriors; almost the entire tribe was killed in battle some 300 years previously. One sole survivor, who is called the "keeper of rings" (2244), hid the treasures in the high barrow-hall and soon died. As poetry, one of the most moving passages in the epic is the Keeper's invocation as he leaves the gold and other items in the barrow (22472266). He speaks of the mutability of time and the loss of the good men, heroes, and princes, who no longer have any use for the treasure. They took the metals from the earth, and the Keeper now returns the treasures to it. He tells us that the stewards metals from the earth, and the Keeper now returns the treasures to it....
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- Fall '09