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Word Count: 477
Gold has many different uses In John Gardners novel Grendel it is used as a motif to symbolize different aspects of a character Though it has a constant meaning throughout the novel it also differs according to each character Gardner uses gold as a symbol of majesty as well as protection greed and power throughout the novel especially related to the characters of the Shaper Hrothgar and the Dragon respectively To the Shaper gold symbolizes majesty as well as protection He was beyond the need of any shaggy old gold-friends pay 49 The Shaper did not merely work to earn his gold he sang his songs of old because they were his passion and his love The king supported him and that was all he needed He had no desire to obtain the gold and in turn he gained more The gold was also his protector At the time of his death the women covered his eyes with gold to keep him from seeing where he went 145 It protected him from seeing the corruption and greed in society Because of this protection he was able to keep his focus on the inspiration of his songs Then there is Hrothgar to whom gold symbolizes majesty as well as greed During the wars between the various kings they threaten to steal each others gold and burn the meadhalls 33 The gold became a symbol to the people of who was the stateliest ruler between the Danes The gold became their supremacy To Hrothgar as well as the other kings their gold symbolizes their greed for the others kingdom and the others wealth Hrothgar coveted the gold of other kings and made it his quest to control what he wanted Even his own sons did not care about their father They merely weighed his worth by how much gold he possessed 53 Their greed for power outweighed their desire for justice in ruling They only wanted
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