Women Role In Beowulf And Mobinogion
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Importance of Women In Beowulf
Beowulf is considered to be the most wonderful poem in the literature of Old English. The society described in the poem reflected the heroic values such as generosity, loyalty, and courage of both men and women. The character of the female also seemed to inconspicuous at the initial sight, but if someone observes closely, he would realize that the Beowulf-poet did not neglect them. The women in these texts were classified as the instruments of their kings, and also the extensions for their husband. This paper describes the importance of women in Beowulf.
Women are referred to as a peace waver as a married woman from one tribe to another moved for securing the peace between the two groups. Beowulf described two examples of outstanding female characters who worked as the foil for the weavers of peace. The most important duty of every woman who was considered to be peace waver was to bear the problems of their children. The problems of children were the reason for many fights between the two groups, but the involvement of women can act as a physical mean of gaining peace (Singh, 45).
The queen in Beowulf and the mother of Grendel divert their significance from their sons. The queens in Beowulf were involved in the several roles of society. The most significant of them was considered to be "passer-of-the-cup. Both Hygd and Wealhtheow acted as the hostesses who carried the cup around the hall for offering it to the warriors. This looks to be an unimportant task until the readers examine and carefully understand how such duty was carried out. The significance of it lay particularly in the order related to which the warriors were approached by the queen. She showed that the utmost power lay only in the hands of their leaders. It is considered to be a very active role that enabled them to indicate the hall power structure. While distributing the cup, Wealththeow was shown for performing other tasks as well. She used to have a conversation with the warriors, praised them and reminded them politely of their loyalty to their king and also with each other. She functioned as an intermediary between the warriors and kings that strengthen the war band ties. The Queen acted diplomatically for speaking wisely and for counseling through her constructive eloquence, gentleness, and lightheartedness (Harmer, 35).
The character of the mother of Grendel has gained a significance as she is considered to the monster for the hero to fight. Another important work for women was gift-giving. The women in times of Anglo-Saxon owned their properties and could divide it at their will. One of the most significant duties of women were to be generous. Unlike Hildeburh who gave importance to both Frisians and Danes, Wealhtheow remained identified in relation to her kindred of the husband. Wealhtheow was proved to be very competent in her job and always fulfilled her peace-waver role effectively. Like Wealtheow, Hygd also held considerable power, and she was able to influence these matters as a successor choice to the throne. After the death of Hygelac, she offered the throne to Beowulf on her own expense. Her decision for preferring the Beowulf proved her devotion to the Greatish people and showed that his welfare is more significant for her than her son. Moreover, maternal relationships in Beowulf are depicted as supportive and cooperative. For example, Wiglaf who was the son of the sister of Beowulf remained loyal to his uncle even in the time of some of the greatest dangers while the relationships on the paternal side were depicted as ominous or problematic.
Similarly, Queen Hygd was also famous for her attitude and devotion to her husband. She is the only woman in the entire poem who is described to love someone. The character of mourning women at the funeral of Beowulf was also very significant and was considered to be the last female character in the poem. The mourning woman was interpreted as being the wife of Beowulf who was a professional leader. Her most of the importance were lies in the act of mourning. She was not able to involve in the actions of the hero directly, but she influenced the men with her advice and also praised them (Martha ,411).
So, it is concluded that the role of women had shown that they possessed several functions that have an impact on the men heroic world. Although Beowulf focused primarily on the male hero's deeds, but the figures of the female also contributed to the poem complexity. They have a significant place in the poetic structure and as well as in the story.
Importance of Women In Mabinogion
The Mabinogion is considered to be the earliest stories of prose in the Britain literature. The stories were about the Middle Welsh in the 12-13th centuries. The roles of Mabinogi has not been although sufficiently examined or defined still it could not be denied that women play an important part in the tale. Mabinogion women were portrayed as gorgeous with skin fair, and the golden locks. This paper describes the importance of women in the Mabinogion.
Mabinogion women highlight the women character. It includes courtesy literature, church doctrines, and bardic grammars. The indication of the importance of women is clearly mentioned in the Welsh law of women. It provides the behaviors and qualities prized and desired in the women. The text of the early Church describes the women nature starting with the fall from Eden Garden. In order to convince the men for not to marry, the focus of the Church was on the sexuality of female for all the Fathers of the Church who accepted that marriage was considered to be inferior to virginity. The ideas of Medieval about the femininity were complex and ambiguous. In the medieval lives of saints, there were small subsets of saints who were women, and many of them were also considered to be martyred virgins (Francis, 315).
Female saints were depicted by the Hagiography as disavowing marriage for purity life. The ideal women of medieval therefore considered to be obedient, virginal, silent, and chaste. The Virgin Mary was a pure embodiment of such absolute in the scripture. The women of Welsh were also encouraged in marriage to be chaste rather than embracing religious vocation lives. Young women were dealt according to their virginity value, and the married women had the chastity issue. The Middle ages female saint had the exceptional characters that were transgressing against the norms of culture for defying the religious and social times more. It was clearly portrayed in the stories that female saints were serving as an inspiration for living a faith-filled life. In Wales, these saints were also admired but not imitated. Female saints were also considered to be a serious threat for authority and patriarchal order. These female saints also inspired the characters of an unlikely female in the literature of Medieval Welsh (Reeves, 530)
Courtesy books describe the women social subordination and the social classes ideal behavior. The qualities of modesty, humility, obedience, loyalty, and chastity were valued universally. These texts clearly determined the responsibilities and duties of merchant and aristocratic women as well as the ideals and values of the time. It also gave the idea that during that time the good women were considered to be submissive and the bad women as considered to be disobedient.
The women subservience was considered to be the natural order part rather than simply a construct of the society. The women praise was involved in the household poet duties. The poets described both elegies and poetry for the daughters and wives of nobility who used to sponsor their work. By giving the example of Christian virtues, poetry tries to give women importance by comparing them to the female saints or the Virgin Mary. In the poetry of Medieval the women were portrayed mostly in a formalistic manner. Noblewomen were praised for their modesty, chastity, nobility, gentleness or generosity. Noblewoman was also placed on the pedestal of virtue while chastising and disparaging those whose rebuffed their advance so sexual activities.
Throughout the ages of Middle women, were describes either as Eve or Mary. Some women were also described as the queen who wore shining brocaded golden garment of silk. The status of women describes the nature of independence in that society. The status of woman in the society of medieval was changeable. The status of women was followed that of her father, and after marriage, her husband was falling and rising with their fortunes. The worth of women was a fraction to that of life circumstance, age, and role of the man. In the Mabinogi, the characters of unlikely female describe their independence within local life. For example, Rhiannon made her own direct events and decisions. She appeared on the white horse of magic and started the courtship providing the chase. The Medieval women were also defined by relationships to men and their establishment roles within the social order. Noblewomen were also worked as a deft manager with the important responsibilities that were able to exercise the authority on the absence of lord. As independence is a significant characteristic for the women and the women in Mabinogion also rescued their son and lost somewhere in the world of magic. Another significant character of women in Mabinogi is her role as a mother.
So, it concluded that women in Mabinogi are highly intelligent with the sharp observation of the role of women in society. The qualities of noblewomen showed both forthrightness and independence which proved them unique.
Francis, Matthew. "Rewriting the Mabinogi." New Writing 15.3 (2018): 311-321.
Harmer, Allison. "Haunted By Gender: Teaching Gender Performance through Monstrosity in the Beowulf Manuscript/The New F Words: The Importance of Failure and Frustration in AP English Classrooms." (2016).
Martha, M. "“The Woman Who loves” Women as guardians of life and Weavers of Peace in Biak, Papua." Creating the Third Force: Indigenous Processes of Peacemaking (2016): 411.
Reeves, Rosanne, and Jane Aaron. "Gwyneth Vaughan, Eluned Morgan and the Emancipation of Welsh Women." Women's Writing 24.4 (2017): 517-534.
Singh, Stephanie. "The Importance of Women in Anglo-Saxon Society as Portrayed through Literature." The Compass. Vol. 1. No. 2. 2015.
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