Women In Beowulf Analysis

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Beowulf is an incredible piece of literature that holds much importance in the literary genre. However, it's lack of importance placed on it 's female characters has caused controversy. Although the poem was composed in England it is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf is set in a world where honor, bravery and loyalty is of much importance as it highlights the values of the pre-Anglo Saxon culture. The role of women in Beowulf, reflects that of Anglo Saxon society which predominately is based around peacemaking. This can be through biological means such as mothers of powerful sons, or marital ties with powerful foreign kings as a type of peace contract, or socially as a cup- passing and peace weaving queen within a hall. Are women in these poems…show more content…
Their sources of power were: as childbearers, for the maintenance of the dynastic line, their capacity to influence the king and those around him, their acquistion of privileged information, and their access to wealth.In situations of relative uncertaintainty, the queen could play the part of king maker by using her informal but effective power base to sopport one male claimant against all the rest. There were even times if the dynasty were strong enough, when her support might ensure the acceptance of a minor as king with the queen holiding…show more content…
They obtained roles as peace makers, hostesses and ritual mourners which would contrast massively to the very public roles that the men held roles such as warrior, avenger and king. Critics of the poem previously have downplayed the importance of women as they have been overlooked by their male counterparts. However, recently women in the poem and also in Anglo Saxon society have been seen as characters whose functions are nearly just important of the male's. They are seen as powerful and active in their own realms as they do all within their power to fight for what they believe. While answering this question I will pay my attention on Grendel's mother, Wealhteow, and Hygd as they have attracted the most
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