The Roles of Women in different works of Literature
In Beowulf, the role of women is greatly different then that of old Greek literature and epic. Women in Beowulf are presented as peace-makers and they are respected, compared to the Greek view that women are on the same level as spoils of war and livestock; something you own and show as a trophy. Hygd is one of the generous, gracious, and wise woman portrayed in Beowulf. But even the wild, cruel, and ruthless women can be civilized and grow to be good, such as Modthrytho. Once she got married, she changed and became virtuous and kind.
In SGGK, women are elevated by the chivalric code and courtly love. Women in Arthur’s court are put on the same level as men if not higher. The chivalric code bade a knight never to refuse a lady anything. The Lady of Sir Bercilak is shown as stunningly beautiful, generous and gracious. She is shown very well especially at the end of the story.
In the FQ, Una stand for Truth. Una is every man’s dream woman. She is self-sacrificing, kind, gracious, and unconditionally loving. She forgives and forgets. She is elevated way up to the heavens in her status, and this shows a very big jump away from the Greek views of women. Until the FQ we saw a gradual change, but in this literary work, women are praised and made to be a heroine along with the hero instead of the trophy for the hero.
In Hamlet, Ophelia is portrayed helpless and naïve. She has no power to do what she wills, and thus cannot be with her love, Hamlet. Her father and brother make all the decisions...