Within the pages of the well-known epic poem are many extraordinary and warring narratives of the Middle Ages. Beowulf is important because it is one of the most ancient European epics written in the vernacular, or native tongue. The seemingly super natural heroes of this exciting and famous writing have a great impact on the typical roles of their women. As declared through out the many lines of the astonishing poem, the women have many purposes and serve a variety of roles. Wealhtheow, Hygd, Hildeburh, Freawaru, and Grendel’s Mother give examples of the historical roles that are expected of the women of this ancient time. The women in “Beowulf” have the significant roles of hostess, peaceweaver, and mother.
Numerous women have the essential task of playing hostess to the battle seeking men. Wealhtheow is the queen and wife to Hrothgar, so she is considered to be a noblewoman. In the Mead Hall, Wealhtheow enters with the surveillance of her guests. The Queen elegantly acquaints herself with the strong men in the Heorot hall. Being influentially well dressed, and bejeweled in her gold, she conforms to her given duty of distributing the cup,
“ Wealhtheow came in, Hrothgar’s queen, observing the courtesies. Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted the men in the hall, then handed the cup first to Hrothgar, their homeland’s guardian, urging him to drink deep and enjoy it” (lines 613-617).
A woman named Hygd , who is beautiful and wise also plays the role of hostess in Beowulf. Seemingly, she has a much lesser portion than that of Wealhtheo. Hygd is said to be passing through the hall, carrying the cup, but there is no set array for her rounds, "Haereth’s daughter moved about with the mead-jug in her hand, taking care of the company, filling the cups that warriors held out”(lines 1980- 1983 ). The writer does not pronounce if Hygd delivers the mug to Hygelac or to Beowulf. Wealhtheow and Hygd are both Queens. They both have influence in the Hall.
Peaceweaver is used in Old English Literature. The term is used to illustrate a woman who marries someone from an enemy tribe in order to establishment tranquility between her family and his. The marriage is a supporting understanding to expectantly end enmity between warring tribes. Maintaining and preserving harmony is not just a role for women; it is their very identity. However, peace was not always the consequence of such a marriage, and the peace-weaver without doubt had to tolerate a dual burden. The failing of the arranged marriage is proven in the case of Hildeburh. She is a Dane who marries the enemy, King of the Jutes as the peaceweaver. In the...