Beowulf Role of Women

Beowulf Role of Women

In medieval literature, the representation of women was often portrayed as an amalgam of passivity and submission to men’s desires. When considering the medieval context and different cultures, the Old English poem, Beowulf, regards a complex representation of gender relationships. On the surface, the poem seems to have a traditional depiction of women by placing emphasis on the male protagonists and his conquest to avenge his brother. With analysis however, when analyzing the poem one can identify the underlining importance of women in an Anglo-Saxon society.

Several women are Introduced and each one plays an essential role within the storyline. This paper will argue that Beowulf reinforces feminism by assigning women with roles that are crucial for the maintenance of stability and political order In the Anglo-Saxon society. The significant roles taken on by women within Beowulf can be divided into three categories: peacemaker, hostess and protector. The epic of Beowulf deconstructs patriotism by assigning women the pivotal role of peace- weaver. In the Anglo-Saxon society, a peace-waver Is the most critical and challenging ole for a woman.

This is specifically true in the case of princess Hilbert. She was given as a gift to the Danish King in hopes of settling a feud between two nations. She demonstrates nobility and loyalty by approving to marry the Danish King. Furthermore, by marrying a king from another land, she establishes peace and alliance between her homeland and her husband’s land. Hence, she unifies or “weaves” both communities together. To assure the peace between both communities, the rulers have children simply to prove the death of the feud.

This signifies that the blood from the previous hating societies have blended and created one type of blood. Consequently, the reader discovers later on that Queen Hellebore failed to play a strong role in peace-weaving because she mourns the death of her sons and husband. It is Justifiable to say that during her efforts to preserve warrior culture, violence escalated and tribal nature of the Anglo-Saxon society crumbled. Nevertheless, Queen Hilbert served as a mediator and displayed the complex role of women within the political system. The story reinforces feminism by giving women n active role in the hall ceremonies.

Halloween asserts her power by playing the role of hostess and caperer, which involves carrying the cup to the warriors and nourishing them. By having the role of a caperer, Queen Halloween displays loyalty and dependability. In historical times It was essential to have a caperer to assure that the king will not be poisoned. During the first meat-hall, Halloween offers the cup to Warthogs than Beowulf “… She graciously saluted the men in the hall, then handed the cup first to Warthogs, their homeland’s guardian, urging him to drink pep and enjoy it because he was so dear to them. (Lines 615-618) On the surface, her role may seem relatively obedient and insignificant. However when carefully analyzing the narrative it becomes evident that Wealthiest action of offering the cup to Beowulf right after the king drinks demonstrates social ranking in the court. According to Halloween, Beowulf has risen in social status, she carries the ability of bestowing Beowulf Witt such nor and assigning him the role to protecting near people. Furthermore, Weather is also the ring-giver, meaning she is capable of rewarding Beowulf if he is successful in his mission to kill Greened.

While Warthogs promises riches, Halloween has the ultimate power of deciding which and the amount of gifts he shall receive. Evidently, Wealthiest role as a noble hostess allows her to have her significant power in social gathering and authority over Beowulf as well as the other warriors. Certain female roles in the poem demand some women to oppose social expectations and utilize the law of a man predominant role to solve problems. As Warthogs indicates: “They are fatherless creatures, and heir whole ancestry is hidden in a past of demons and ghosts. (Lines 1355- 1357) This demonstrates that Grenade’s mother has to take on a fatherly role by going into battle. As Beowulf seeks revenge upon Greened for the murder of a close body, Grenade’s mother pursues revenge upon Beowulf for the murder of her son. In sum, Grenade’s mother is playing the role of a protector, similarly to any mother. By analyzing a hero’s Journey (or Monmouth created by Joseph Campbell) Grenade’s mother’s Journey shadows most of the seventeen main stages of a hero. Motivated by enhance, Grenade’s mother protects her family name by fighting Beowulf.

In historical eras, it was a common and vicious cycle of inflicting pain on those who inflicted pain on us. Hence if one suffers from a murder of a family member, it is one of the family member’s role to display bravery and fight to the finish with a family member from of the opposing family. The poet portrays the mother as beastly and invasive but if analyzed carefully, she exhibits characteristics of heroism, which is often an attribute of a man. The role of women in Beowulf are far from submissive.

Furthermore women are an important role to society as they maintain social and political order within the Anglo-Saxon society. Although women are not main characters in this poem, they play a crucial role and share one aspect in common. Similar to the women in modern literature, females within the Anglo-Saxon society are portrayed as compassionate. They tend to put aside their own well-being for the sake of their families. After analyzing the crucial role these women played, one cannot help but wonder how the story would have unfolded without them.