The Role of Women in “Beowulf”


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Essay #: 053167
Total text length is 6,247 characters (approximately 4.3 pages).

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The beginning:
The Role of Women in "Beowulf"
The role of women in Beowulf is baldly stated in the poet’s description of Grendel’s mother visiting her wrath on Heorot: “But the fear was less than in the time of Grendel, even as the strength of maids, or a woman’s rage in war, is less than an armed man’s” (65). Grendel’s mother, the most formidable women in Beowulf, is not allowed to take the stage without first being cut down to size by the poet—even before Beowulf gets his hands on her.
In a way, Grendel’s mother is Grendel’s ornament—a lesser symbol of greater strength. The fact that Grendel’s mother has no name other than a variation of that of her son is an indication that she is part of a long line of Germanic women whose identity is at once violent...
The end:
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