Women In Beowulf

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In the Anglo-Saxon culture, the mens role of the warrior was highly valued. In a time when war and need for protection was constant, the ability to fight was a priority. Since women were not expected to battle, their purpose was naturally inconsequential compared to a typical male figure. The less considerable duties women obtained include, but are not limited to: the wife, the mother, the peace-weaver, and the hostess. Although these roles did not contribute to protecting the town like the heroic warrior, they were able to hold the town together when the men were away at war. In Beowulf, the role of women is generally minimized due to the plot focusing on the aspects of heroism. Making the assumption that women in Beowulf are subservient…show more content…
It is shown through this passage that she may have influence politically in the kingdom. She starts with the passing of the mead cup; first to Hrothgar. While Wealtheow does this, she says something to Hrothgar concerning the next king. “The bright court of Heorot has been cleansed and now the word is that you want to adopt this warrior as a son. So, while you may, bask in your fortune then bequeath kingdom and nation to your kith and kin, before your decease. I am certain that Hrothulf. He is noble and will use the young ones as well. He will not let you down. Should you die before him, he will treat our children truly and fairly. He will honour, I am sure, our two sons, repay them in kind when he recollects all the good things we gave him once, the favour and respect he found in his childhood,” (lines 1172-1186). She clearly states that Hrothulf is more fit for king than Beowulf. It is obvious by saying this that she is looking out for herself and making sure that a family member takes the throne. There’s no signs that he ignored her, so the assumption can be made that she has a certain amount of influence on his decisions. Next, she turns to Beowulf with the cup. Following the battle with Grendel, Beowulf was able to increase his status in the hall. This is symbolized by the mead cup being passed to him immediately after Hrothgar. Wealhtheow also had a speech ready for him. “Take delight in this torque, dear Beowulf, wear it for luck and wear also this mail from our people’s armoury: may you prosper in them! Be acclaimed for strength for kindly guidance to these two boys, and your bounty will be sure. You have won renown: you are known to all men far and near, now and forever….”(lines 1118-1222). She gives him presents and kind words. This is an example of a respectable hostess. At the very end of her speaking, she ends with “The thanes have one purpose, the people are

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