The Women in Beowulf

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Apr 30, 2024
Read Summary
Cite this
The Women in Beowulf

This essay will analyze the role of women in the epic poem “Beowulf.” It will discuss how female characters contribute to the story’s themes and the portrayal of women in Anglo-Saxon society as depicted in the poem. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Beowulf.

Date added
Pages:  3
Order Original Essay

How it works

There are three very complex monsters in the short story. Grendel’s mother is the symbol of Cain from the Bible. Grendel symbolizes man’s sin and greed. Grendel is the monster from Hell. God condemned him because of Cain and Abel. Grendel has the kingdom under his control. Grendel appearance is odd looking. Beowulf then rescues the kingdom from Grendel, and therefore from their actions of their gluttony. The dragon represents evil. The dragon is represents the serpent and could be thought of as the Devil.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

The women in Beowulf and Anglo Saxon history In the epic poem Beowulf, the women presented are central to not only the story but also to society itself. They present voices that offer influence over the predominately male group and often are the voice of reason with their husbands. These women should not be taken lightly. They include a peaceweaver, hostesses, and a monster. Let’s look at each in further detail. The women in the story didn’t have much power, between monsters,swords,and death women didn’t real

She is full of rage and quickly gets the best of him. Beowulf with quick thinking goes for his sword but is unable to jab her with it. She is moving to swiftly for him. She is trying to stab him with her sword but is unable to. Beowulf gets the upper hand and pushes her off of him. He notices a old sword in her cave. He gets the sword and slices her in two. After she is killed, he see’s Grendel and beheads him. He takes the head to the king. Once she slice in two the dark cave lightens up from her body. The sword begins to melt and breakdown because her blood is very hot. Therefore, she is immediately connected with evil.

Grendel’s mother lives in a mere. A mere, by definition is a body of water or lake. Her home seems to be underwater. It takes Beowulf a long time to swim to her home. She is ultimately killed. In beating Grendel’s mother, Beowulf sets aside his own warriors’ vengeful nature and realizes that there is no honor in killing out of rage. That is the good defeating the evil in the Poem.

The dragon embodies greed. Greed symbolizes the Dragon because he has found treasure from a lost tribe and is keeping it as his own. The Dragon even moves into the barrow to make sure no one else gets his new found treasure. The Dragon is enraged when he realizes his treasure is no longer in the barrow. The Dragon is angry because his treasure is stolen from his hiding spot. He begins torching villages after the treasure is stolen. Beowulf decides to fight the Dragon. So he would stop terrorizing the village. This Beowulf is about 50 years older. He is slower but he still is brave. This is his last fight. Beowulf wins the fight but still dies.

His fight symbolizes him standing up for the good of the people. Defeating the Dragon represents Beowulf and Wiglaf overcoming the evil of greed. Beowulf asks Wiglaf to bring him the treasure they won from the dragon to see that he had done some good in winning it for his kingdom. While he is coming to the end of his life; he is talking to his He then asks Wiglaf to become king and use the treasure for the good of the kingdom.Wiglaf honors Beowulf by burying the treasure with him in his tomb. That shows he has a good quality. People with poor qualities would not have buried the treasure with Beowulf. They would have kept it for themselves.

There exists a stereotype of women in Beowulf as frail, wicked, or under the dominance of men an assumption so pervasive that modern literatureWomen in Anglo-Saxon spend their entire lifetimes being held under male protection, living safely in their parents’ banquet halls. When they were old enough they’d be married off and sent to live with their husbands, whom they had to be loyal to and obey.

In Beowulf Hildeburh and Freawaru Anglo-Saxons values at the time,that was portrayed in Beowulf, were perseverance, hospitality, bravery, honor, truth, loyalty and duty. The most important characteristic to Anglo-Saxons was loyalty. The kings expected their subjects to have loyalty over anything. They would travel all over far and near. Therefore, loyalty was believed to be the most important belief in the Anglo-Saxon culture.You loyalty was to the King first then, to your family. Anything else was unacceptable behavior.

The people of the time were expected to be brave and not cowardly. There were several battles that they were dealing with in the times of this poem. Warriors are suppose to be brave at all times. Warriors are to be truthful. Not being truthful could result in death. The Anglo-Saxon people were expect to have perseverance. The conditions in which they lived; they need to be able tuff. The Anglo-Saxon culture were all about their values. The people of the time lived close to bodies of water because it was easily accessible by boat. Boats were the main mode of transportation. The Anglo-Saxon period was about 600 years.

The Anglo-Saxon women took full responsibility of the day-to-day activities of their households. The wife‘s responsibility was to oversee the slaves, storerooms, make clothes and play hostess. In most societies the wife prepares the food, but in Anglo-Saxon culture, it was more customary for the man to prepare the food and the women to serve the drinks in the mead hall. Wealhtheow, from Beowulf, demonstrates her role as women.

Because of the different roles women played in society, it is hard to sum things up in a few paragraphs. Anglo-Saxon women, like other women, raised their children, managed their house, educated their children, and became divorced. Times may change but in general the roles women have in society are still the same.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Women In Beowulf. (2019, Apr 16). Retrieved from