Not surprisingly, in the poem Beowulf, the characters of Grendel and Beowulf showed the significant role of religion. Biblical allusions were scattered throughout the poem. The alienated character Grendel was a descendant “of Cain (who was) punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death.” Due to their blood connection to Cain, Grendel’s parents were “murderous creatures banished by God.” God has exiled all monsters; shunned them away from the prosperous lives of humans. This made Grendel an outcast to the society of God worshipers. Unlike the Germanic tribes that roamed the earth above him, Grendel lived with the sole purpose of “opposing the Lord’s Will, and again and again defeated.” Meanwhile, as he was born human, the heroic character Beowulf was considered to be a descendant of the Lord.
Throughout Beowulf, within the film and the text, women are portrayed as possessions for the benefit of the men. Furthermore, women are used as devices to further the plot of men in both the film and poem. Yet, in the text, women are less prevalent to the story, their presence secondary to the men. Women are more sexualized in the movie than the poem, yet they also assume more authority over the men and have more developed characters. While the gender roles were historically accurate throughout the book, women subservient to men, the movie afforded women more dominant and involved roles.
However like Harris mentions in his article “the traditional view of the women in Beowulf as weak, extraneous characters used only to pass mead and worry about their children is patently false.” This epic oversimplifies the women’s roles in a household especially when they were from a noble title, since many of them had to take care of all household matters, especially when the men were gone to war, or even were peacemakers (Yewdaev). This is mostly due to the lack of presentation women have in this epic. On another hand, by lacking the mention of women they are showing that women aren’t seen as any where equal to men. It is arguable to say that at the same time the women are still being represented as having a big part in society, since it they found it necessary to give small parts to two
This is a feminine and bloody space that speaks of the mysteries of the female body, the monsters: the fear men have of what lurks within. When Grendel’s Mother battles with Beowulf, she attempts to penetrate him with her claws; she pinions him to the ground, the female mounting the male, an inversion of male sexual violence towards women. There is no mention of Grendel’s father, though she is called a descendent of Cain, could she be the self-propagating primordial mother, another anathema to the phallic centric world of Beowulf and one which must be contained for the male order to
In the epic poem Beowulf, the plot is centered on a heavily masculine view. As a result, many of the themes depicted were male-dominated, which left very little leeway for women to influence the story. Jane C. Nitzsche, however, was able to point out the ways in which Grendel’s mother represented how the Germanic ideals of women were able to be shifted, ultimately showing how women could not be confined into a single feminine role. The first instance where Grendel’s mother had shifted roles was after Grendel’s death. Not having a husband, Grendel’s mother was unable to pledge her primary loyalty towards the accepted Saxo Grammaticus dominant figure.
On the other hand, we see the power of feminine motion on Beowulf when he first encounters Grendel’s mother. She is a mythical monster who feeds on the flesh of humans. She is not given a name but referred to only as “Grendel’s mother”. Like most mothers, she takes on the roles as a nurturer, she must defend the honor of her child. During the Anglo-Saxon period, and even in today’s society, females portrayed as peace keepers because they are not supposed to get involved in any of action that starts some kind of feud.
Nina Ortiz Prof. Kappes ENG 301 26 February 2018 Two Tales of a Mother A woman, a savage, a mother, or a beast may or may not be your opinion of Grendel's mother in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. Beowulf leaves much to the reader to imagine who she is as person and so interpretation varies. However, throughout the text, the poet seems to praise Beowulf for his heroic ventures while Grendel’s mother gets no real recognition other than distasteful descriptions. As many might perceive Grendel’s mother as monstrous and their worst nightmare, on the contrary, Grendel’s mother was as human as Beowulf and as natural as you and I. Much like today, society connects you with whom you are related.
Beowulf, a strong warrior from the tribe of the Geats, being a part of the gay community would be hard to believe. Although it is difficult to consider, applying queer theory to Beowulf is simple when the epic poem demonstrates various situations as to apply queer theory. In the work Beowulf, the anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet utilizes coded language, paradigms of hetero-culture, and unsuccessful hetero-normativity to demonstrate how the fight between Grendel 's Mother and Beowulf caused Beowulf to be uncomfortable, how the heterosexual married men had a lot of failures compared to the never married Beowulf. During one scene, the poet used "coded" language in a hetero culture to explore the heroism of the queer warrior. The coded language is seen between Beowulf and Grendel 's Mother.
In Beowulf women are seen a force of destruction: 8the action or process of killing or being killed, the cause of someone's ruin. 4They are mainly characterized as a monster avenging her son. In doing this she manages to destroy not only a kingdom but the king himself (lines 1321-1344). Leaving him brooding over a friend’s death not to mention the many innocent people she killed when she attacked his throne room. Even Beowulf-the
For example, in the original text it describes Wealtheow as “noble lady” but it turns out that she is “passing only as either giving men drinks or silently sitting beside Hrothgar”. Also, Sarmiento states Laws of Aethelbert in his essay that shows the equal social status of both men and women during Beowulf’s era and it is true that in Beowulf, typical female character such as Wealtheow can make any decision she wants without having to ask her husband, so that I think Beowulf play does not have the stereotype of