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Women in Beowolf

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Jennifer5293
Words 647
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Women in Beowulf

Look especially at the role of women in the poem. Identify (try for 10) references to women--their actions, thoughts, motivation--in short, their role in the poem. Don't just identify them, however, react. Tell why these characters are important to the poem. Feel free to talk about anything else you want to about Beowulf.

The role of women in Beowulf vary greatly from pedigreed hostesses to ravenous beasts, each plays a key role in not only the poem but, to mold an understanding of the culture, beliefs, and society of the time. We are introduced to several females however, most of these are minute roles within the poem, and they are usually to give the bloodline or ancestry of the character being spoken of. We are introduced to four main female characters, Wealtheow, Hygd, Hildeburh, and Grendel’s mother.

Both, Wealtheow and Hygd act as hostesses within the poem. Both women are described using positive text and imagery. Wealtheow is described as “Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted the men in the hall…“queenly and dignified, decked out in rings…”(” (43) Being adorned in gold and decked out in rings shows wealth and statute of that time which would be appropriate for a queen, yet she is described as queenly, dignified, and gracious, showing her compassion, and respect for her people. Hygd even though only introduced briefly, is described as “her mind was thoughtful and her manners sure.”(71) Again we here positive terms of thoughtful, and respectful showing the nature and pedigree of the women. But, not all women are portrayed in a positive respect such as Queen Modthryth. She is described as “Perpetrated terrible wrongs.” (71) This gives another view women of this era, as cold hearted and cruel. “Even a queen outstanding in beauty must not overstep...,”(72) the poem gives insight into what a true queen show be stating “A...

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Words: 581 - Pages: 3