Women's Role In Beowulf

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In the epic tale of Beowulf, translated by Kevin Crossley-Holland, it is the role, worth and importance of the woman that is greatly questioned by some readers. When one first reads this tale at a glance, one might not even see the true value of women during this era due to the portrayal of the women characters in the story. One must do close reading to see the true importance of each women character or lack of importance. After close reading one might see that it is the status of women and the significance or function of their role for that particular status in society that should be focused on; for each woman regardless of status, held some worth and importance. If one did not have a proper status or ancestry, they were held in very low opinion, therefore, those women deemed of low status or low ancestry held the roles of monsters and wenches. Then those with slightly higher social status and ancestry were known as peace-weavers. Of course, those of the higher social status,…show more content…
The wenches were mere women to play a role in entertaining men of higher class, they were not considered outcasts but also were not considered to have any worth, they were stuck in the class they were at never really being able to rise to become a peacemaker or hostess. Grendel’s mother was portrayed and seen as such a lowly character that she did not even receive a proper name. Throughout the story Grendel’s mother is only seen and described as an evil, monstrous, and manly person. Not one positive characteristic is given to her. She is referred to as a descendent of Cain, one of the first humans to be truly sinful and evil in gods eyes. She was banished into a place truly unfit for any woman. “Grendel’s mother was a monster of a woman; she mourned her fate, she who had to live in the terrible lake, the cold water streams, after Cain slew his own brother.” (42,
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