Roles Of Women In Medieval Literature

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Anthoneak Gilbert 000-07-2294 Dr. Kozikowski ENG 305 September 28, 2015 Paper 1: Considering the Old and Middle English works we have read so far, write a 4-page paper that compares the roles of women in medieval literature. Support your claims with quotations and/or textual evidence from three texts. The men throughout the Old English era played a very prevailing role in society. Men were the persons in society that were portrayed as the central leaders; being in charge of their homes and representing wisdom and strength. Because the men’s role in the Old English era was so dominant, there is a vast amount of literature about them, thus allowing women to be outshined. In fact, women during this period were more passive and docile. However,…show more content…
In order to fulfil this role a woman passed cups of drink around to the men as they would celebrate and party. This is seen in “Beowulf” in the lines “Wealhtheow came in, Hrothgar’s queen, observing the courtesies. Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted the men in the hall, then handed the cup first to Hrothgar…” (Lines 612-624). This role is quite evident because after Hrothgar drinks, she passes it around to the other men of different ranks, young and…show more content…
Since the men were always out to war, women were the ones left to keep the memories of history. In fact, the women were the ones to remember the destruction of war that led to the death of their loved ones. For example, in Beowulf, where it says, “A Geat woman too sang out in grief; with her hair bound up, she unburdened herself of her worst fears, a wild litany of nightmare and lament: her nation invaded, enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles, slavery and abasement.” (Lines 3150-3155). Through these lines, it is seen that this woman is left with the memories of her lord’s death. To add to that, she makes a prediction of how her people would have to endure some extremely hard times of their kingdom being threatened and destroyed by their enemies. Based on her prediction, she may have had previous memories that she has kept. Through her memories, the history of Beowulf and his kingdom is and will forever be

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