The Role Of Women In Beowulf:The Anglo Saxon Women

1852 words - 8 pages

(Different Title)

Promp: what does beowulf have to say about women? Specifically, what is a women’s proper role in Beowulf? Consider actual Anglo- Saxon queens

To the Anglo-Saxon’s, women did not serve as incredibly prominent figures. In a society where war was consistent in everyday life, the ability to fight, being powerful, and ultimately being warriors were treasured. Men were physically stronger and therefore were immediately given the roles of warriors and had higher expectations. Anglo-Saxon women were not considered warriors and especially not expected to fight. Women were then given “less significant” roles in society. Although women were exempt from the higher prized roles, they still managed to attain a certain propriety. The epic Beowulf has three women who play roles that vary yet, are symbolic for the culture. These women are Hildeburh, Wealtheow, and Grendel’s mother and they represent three varying roles that Anglo-Saxon women play: the peacemaker, the hostess, and the monster. (Mention last lady, Aethelflaed, somewhere in the intro)
The peacemaker is defined as the woman who is held accountable for unifying the tribes. The most prominent character for the peacemaker role in Beowulf is Hildenburh. She is the Danish princess and daughter of the king of Danes. She was married off to the king of Jutes, Finn. She succeeded in her duties by having a son intertwining the blood between the two tribes. The marriage was unsuccessful though because the tribes continued to fight and Hildenburh lost her only son, brother, and husband. She ended up being returned to the Danes after everyone close to her perished in a battle. She pressed that they’d be buried (buried or burned together, check with next sentence to see which verb is correct) together (1070-1185). By stressing to burn the enemies together she exhibits an act of peace regardless of the previous allegiances. Unfortunately Hildeburh did not bring peace to these groups of people, although she did fulfill her duty as a peacemaker by sustaining faithfulness with her kinsmen, the Danes, and her husband’s land, the Jutes. It is even noted in the epic "A queen should weave peace" (1942). The men are warriors waging war, while the women are to bring an end to strife. Hildeburh’s role as the peacemaker for women is less defined and can be seen dominated by males more often in today’s time. The role of an United States ambassador is to maintain a civil relationship between our country and other nations. An ambassador gets sent to other countries to form a bond and create trust between our country and theirs. This relates to how the princess in Beowulf gets sent to marry another man from the enemy tribe in order to find peace. Fourteen percent of United States ambassadors are women while the remaining eighty six percent are men. Today, the core of our “peacemakers” lies within the males.
A significant female in Beowulf, Wealtheow, the queen of Daneland, acts as the hostess. The hostess...

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