Roles Of Women In Beowulf Essay

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Known to be the oldest surviving English epics, Beowulf was written in the sixth century by the Beowulf Poet. The combination of blood feuds, Paganism, Christianity and gender roles has led historians to believe that the Anglo-Saxons and monks had an influence on structuring and forming the narrative. A classroom classic, Beowulf tells the story of a heroic king fighting against evil until his death. Like many countries during Medieval times, England also did not give women as many rights as men. Though women were not of much importance, as thought by the Dark Age people, the small female role seen in Beowulf had a large impact on the central idea. Women in Beowulf, played three major roles, the hostess, peacemaker, and monster, giving modern society an insight of Anglo-Saxon culture. To begin, the hostess, portrayed by the Queen of Danes, symbolizes hospitality and social activity. The monarch’s character is portrayed as everything a queen should be and an “embodiment of hospitality and good taste” seen through the banquets she hosts in Herot. An…show more content…
Three examples of the role of women in Beowulf are the hostess, peace-weaver, and monster. The hostess, played by the Queen of Danes expresses the hospitality, authority, and respect given to a few women of status. In addition to the hostess, the peace-weaver bonded two clans through birth symbolizing peace and equality for both groups. Opposite to the peace-weaver and hostess the monster in Beowulf reflected through the thoughts of ancient society. For example, a female that did follow the duties of women would be known as an outcast in the village. Thus, Grendel’s mother may be a metaphor describing women who did not fit the ideal female.To conclude, the three main roles played by women in Beowulf correspond with the Anglo-Saxon culture, giving readers an understanding on the ancient

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