The poem Beowulf centers on a male-dominated society with the major themes of violence and power. A majority of the main characters in the poem are men who play a key role in the advancement of its themes. The gender roles of men and women in the poem have been defined with men being allocated the roles of leaders and knights making them heroes while women are seen as peacemakers and trophies for their husbands. However, Grendel’s mother is an exception to other women in the poem. She defies the allocated roles given to women by refusing to conform to societal expectations. Grendel’s mother plays two crucial roles as she conforms to the allocated roles of being a mother and avenging her child while makes her defy some of the allocated roles
The Roles of Women in Beowulf Throughout the history of literature, female characters are often side characters that do not get much recognition from readers. It is a known fact that women are underestimated in Beowulf . When we look at the poem, more it is emphasized the bravery of Beowulf and how to struggle with Grendel. In my opinion, as well as male characters, women characters should be in the forefront in Beowulf.
Female Warriors In Beowulf, women are present but not often. When women do make appearances, they are often short, however they have a specific demeanor. Although, there is one instance where a woman did not conform to the ideal image of an Anglo-Saxon female. Women had a specific role and were depicted in a specific way.
Beowulf is an excellent piece with a lot for the readers to desire and relate to while reading. This analysis explores different escapades while examining the role of women in the literature. One thing to point out is that female characters have always received very thin attention in different pieces of literature, something that has always made many people think that their role is meager. Every piece of literature has an important message to pass across to its intended audiences. Indeed, this study seeks to demystify the male-centric mindset to promote the visibility of women in the contemporary interpretation of literary works demonstrating that women play a greater role in the literature despite the proximity given to male protagonist.
In the article, Beowulf’s Androgynous Heroism, The author tells us that Beowulf is one of the “most memorable in his capacity as the masculine warrior and king.” (Robert Morrey, Beowulf’s Androgynous Heroism, University of Illinois Press) Even though he had no feminine companion beside him, he still fulfilled his roles, as he should have. Beowulf was authentically strong and unquestionably capable of standing up, even when nobody else could. He was able to stand up and arrest control when need be. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, he was struggling to be the best he could be until Enkidu died, his best friend. When he died, Gilgamesh started changing for the superior. Just as the article says, Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Heroic Life, “The most a man
Women were not respected and often thought of sex objects that are there to make great men fall; this becomes very evident in the literature written during this time. In Beowulf, Grendel’s mother a monster, who is given the qualities of a women and represents women who are not submissive to their husbands. “Grendel’s mother, monstrous hell bride, brooded on her wrongs. ”(Beowulf, page 56, lines 58, 59).
While reading Beowulf, one might think that Wealhtheow’s role in Beowulf is insignificant, or that she is merely an extension of Hrothgar, the Danish king. But after studying her character, the queen of the Danes clearly holds a far more powerful role than at a first glance. Her speeches are brief, but full of meaning and authority, and her astute counsel is often relied upon by Hrothgar. While she plays only a small role in Beowulf, Wealhtheow demonstrates that women played an integral part in medieval culture. Wealhtheow’s wisdom and respect is apparent in her role as the cup-bearer.
Women of the Medieval Times Women have always had a significant role in history even though they were treated horrible in most cases. During the Medieval Times was really the first time women were allowed to become more than just a house wife. The fight for equality has always been a struggle and even in today’s society is still an ongoing battle. Although women of lower and middle class were treated poorly in the Medieval Times, some powerful women held great responsibility and were looked up too by both men and children; despite being admired, “men were thought to be not only physically stronger but more emotionally stable, more intelligent, and morally less feeble” (Hopkins 5). “The position of women in the Medieval Society was greatly influenced by the views of the Roman Catholic Church” (Heeve).
Roles Played By Women In Classical Civilizations Women weren’t always seen as equal to men, throughout history women have been mistreated and thought to be less than men. In the classical times,the Rome Empire and the Han dynasty had many similarities and a couple differences in the way they treated their women. During the Classic period from 300 BCE-600 CE, women in Rome and the Han Dynasty were treated and seen as less than men, in China were to submit to their husbands while in Rome women were to be married as soon as they hit puberty and had many disadvantages in divorce,in both civilizations the main role of women was to of taking care of children and the home. In ancient Rome women weren’t given much rights and treated like second class citizens.
Masculine Ideals in Anglo-Saxon Society The concept of a hero is prevalent through all generations because it presents a template for ethics and behavior. Beowulf is a pivotal epic told by poets throughout early european society and mirrors the manly nature of their ideal hero. The patriarchal values of the Anglo-Saxons are displayed through the epic Beowulf. The characters’ loyalty to their leaders as well as their conventional sense of masculinity indicate that the values of a society determine the values of an individual.
in society. Donvain asserts that women weren’t held back by their roles within society, but by the men who assigned them. The author also pointed out that “Anglo-Saxon women within the seventh and eighth century spent their whole lives under the protection of their menfolk” (Donvain 13). As children, these young girls lived with their father’s in halls and were under their protection. When “they came of age and got married, Anglo-Saxon women would then be sent to their husbands household,” since her first loyalty was to her husband, whom she’d obey and respect.
Whenever we start reading a historical context or myth, it is obvious that the role of women is not considered as important compared to men, and women won glory that time when they are mentioned in the arguments the least. If there are women that are mentioned as protagonist, the women usually are described because of their 'outrageous behavior '. However, the role of men usually are described as greatest warriors, heroes, and leaders, whereas the
Darian Aker Mr. Tate English IV 27 September, 2017 Beowulf Essay In this epic, the main character, Beowulf, faces many horrendous monsters. However, as the reader, and the interpreter, I am asked to explain how Beowulf portrays the qualities of an archetypal epic hero. After reading of his battles, his character displays great acts of courage, intelligence, and strength, while warriors revel as Beowulf defeats the creatures. Following his battles, Grendel and Grendel’s mother, Hrothgar and his men celebrate and thank him for his acts of bravery with many cherished gifts.
Introduction Women in the Middle ages were treated as the second class members within their social class. They were taught to be obedient to their husbands and were expected to run the household and raise children. Their role in the society, however, was much more complex, while some medieval women achieved a high level of equality with men. In the Middle Ages women had a secondary role, coming second after men.