The Women In Beowulf

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What does the portrayal of women in Beowulf tell you about how women were perceived and treated in Anglo-Saxon society? Well, that’s a very good question. The women in Beowulf were treated very similar to the women in the Anglo-Saxon society. They both had similar duties and responsibilities.

The women in Beowulf were not insignificant figures; their roles weren’t limited in the poem. They could be peace weavers, hostesses and cupbearers. Their role as hostesses has to do with the duty of carrying the mead cup and pass it to the king and warriors. The women also had some influences on politics and took their own decisions, which concerned the fate of the kingdom. Women in the Anglo-Saxon society played similar roles; weaving and dyeing
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Even though it is true that their appearance is limited and brief, they do play fundamental roles in it. The poet always makes use of positive words to describe them. Wealhtheow is “mindful of etiquette” (613), “a noble-hearted queen” (624), and “perfect in speech” (624). The idea of a nobleman’s ideal wife was reflected in the poem; “at mead drinking she must at all times and places approach the protector of princes first, in front of the companions, quickly pass the first cup to her lord’s hand” The first time Wealhtheow makes her appearance in the poem (612-641), she offers the cup to Hrothgar first, making clear that he is the most powerful figure in the…show more content…
They inherited and held property and if they were married they gained control over their property. They were treated as equal as the men. They had a voice and they were able to say what they wanted when they wanted. The only problem that really arose was that the women were sometimes bossing around the men and it didn’t always go over so smoothly. Just like today’s women, they raised their children, managed their houses and educated their children but they were very handworkers and they weren’t giving up.

Overall, I think that all the women were treated very well compared to what they were treated like after this time period. They both play very similar roles and were both very important. I really admire all of these women for being as strong as they were. They wanted to be treated equal so they made sure that they were. I feel like nowadays, women are scared to speak up. Both the women in Beowulf and the women in the Anglo-Saxon society are very similar to the women now and I’m glad that I was able to be alive in the time period where women were treated almost as equally as the
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