Beowulf Essay: Women's Role In The Anglo-Saxon Society

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Beowulf is the most well-known epic poem of the Anglo-Saxon literature, sometimes regarded as the oldest text written in Old English. That's why scholars have been deeply interested in every inch of the manuscript, as it contains priceless information about its context, its social aspects and the language used when it was composed. This paper is going to focus on one of the social aspects in Beowulf: the role of women in the Anglo-Saxon society and in the poem itself. The centre of attention in Beowulf is the male hero's brave achievements as a soldier to gain glory and honour. Then, the kind of values that the poem promotes are surrounding the world of warriors, which is only concerned about the relationships between men. The Anglo-Saxon heroic code is depicted in the poetry of that period reflecting values such as the loyalty to a lord, courage in the battle and comradeship. It has been pointed out by some scholars like Irving and Petra Procházkova1 that the poem does not shows the whole reality in which it was written. As Beowulf's only cares about the world of warriors and the entertainment for a specific kind of audience, the 'aristocratic class'2, there are many other aspects of the Anglo-Saxon context that are left apart by the poet. However, we will see that women are not forgotten in the text.…show more content…
What we will try to defend in this paper is that, though depending on man, women in Beowulf have their own role in the Anglo-Saxon society and thus, they are not marginal nor passive in the society play. Andrade clearly states that the women's role has even the same importance as the warrior's function, as it is necessary to have that harmony in the structure of the story, but also to understand the

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