Women's Role In Beowulf

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Introduction

Beowulf is longest and oldest epic in English literature no one knows who wrote it. Because conditions of the age it’s written there may be slight differences while transmitted to today. Such as effects of Christianity.

It’s one of the most important poems from old English. Because it’s established the epic poems and stories of that time. Important resource for understanding the culture of Anglo-Saxons and language development at that time. Understanding of religious progress on converting Pagan society to Christianity slowly and how poems of that time played part in that. As an epic it’s perfect example of it’s kind. Hero that can be role-model figure for everyone in that era with his characteristics and morals. Such
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People would get their initial position on society with their familial lines. We can connect winter and summer with family and path of warrior as we looked down to acts they do in that seasons. As they raid in summer and fight for honor, treasure and their survival supplies for winter. When the winter comes they would live in their homes with their family and spend their time with them.

Role of the woman in this society is somewhat better than other cultures of that time. Still they had a role as a peace offering for other hostile tribes as common in tribe politic. They could be shield maidens we can see shield maidens in many other sagas and as in Scandinavian mythology. And maybe they couldn’t be equals for kings or heroes yet they still could be Mistress of the hall like Hrothgar’s wife in the Beowulf.

Beowulf as a story inspired the King Arthur’s story as content and values. For example lady of the lake holder of magical sword can connected with the sword Beowulf found under the lake. And both King Arthur and Beowulf had written to inspire and to make role for that times people to look up to be.
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Same as most of pre-modern religions with polytheism. However it was in some kind of transition era from paganism to Christianity and it effected to literature of that period for obvious reason.

Paganism of those times is still have effects on English today we have some names of days given after like Friday came from Freya (Goddess of Love), Thursday for Thor’s day (Thunder God), Monday to Mona (The Moon), Sunday as Sunne (The Sun), Wednesday Woden (Cunning God), Tuesday for Tiu (God of War) and when it comes to Saturday actually it’s not named from there but from Roman God Saturn.

Story has Fate in control of it and has too many references for Christian God’s will. As Beowulf decided to fight with Grendel bare handed we can connect it to courage and fate to decide who will die Beowulf or Grendel. As God’s will often told in the story we see fate and free will conflict throughout the story. As Beowulf says in his last words to Wiglaf the warrior who helped him with dragon, it was his fate to die

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