Women's Roles In Viking Society

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Viking society, like many other ancient societies, had a very complex set of roles for males and females. Males were sought after for their skills, while females were objects of desire for the males. Both men and women had their roles in society; however, these roles usually positively favored the militaristic man instead of the “weak” woman.
When one thinks of roles in Viking society they automatically think of the roles men played, but women also played many important roles. The roles women played were more menial than those of the men were; nevertheless, important to the clan. Women’s main roles in Viking society were peacemaker, sexual partner, and drink server. “Heorogar, Hrothgar, the good Halga/, and a daughter, I have heard” (61-62) this shows females are nameless daughters to their fathers, unessential to the history of the Danes. An object of sexual desire instead of a human being was what women were to these barbaric men. Whenever a man needed a stress reliever, he used the services of his wife or as he referred to “a balm in bed to the battle scarred swede.”(63) Relationships become meaningless sex instead of actual love. These relationships were more like an indentured servant hood than an actual relationship. Wealtheow, queen of the Danes, had the job of mead maid, which kept the peace between the men of Heorot. The
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Men and women both serve the ruler of the clan. Men served the king with their military services, while women served the king with their domestic services. Both provide peace and keep their clan protected from opposing forces. Women have the role of mediator of peace through their role of mead maid, while men protect the clan from threats of impending violence through their militaristic efforts. The roles that men and women had in Viking society were both of the utmost importance to the continued stability of their
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