Women played a significant role in the culture of the old ages as expressed by the Beuwolf. The poem shows the gender roles that women played.
Firstly, women played a role in cherishing their men’s bodies and souls. They did this by acknowledging the bravery of their men by passing on the mead cup. The mead cup showed their allegiance to the king. Women satisfied the men’s thirst and bellies during this ceremony meant to recognize and distinguish men in order of distinction. This way, women played a role in peace-keeping (Edgington).
Secondly, women acted as a transition figure. Grendel set out herself to revenged her son death ; however, she got killed an incident that predicted that Beowulf’s descendants would find and kill the dragon.
Women also arranged for marriages between warring communities. This commendable step acted as a weave for peace, linking two clans. Women had better wisdom as to what animosity lead to than their men, and that is why they appreciated unity of communities. Apart from arranging marriages, women took part in the union of couples during the marrying ceremonies.
Fourthly, women possessed the ability to prophesy and foretell the fate of situation. Wealtheow seemed to predict for her sons’ life, so she assigns Beowulf to take care of them. In another case, ”a Geatish woman” warned her people that Beowulf was dead and that they had much to worry about their enemies.
When Beowulf killed Grendel, Queen Wealtheow rewarded him well with a supplement on her praise. She wanted Beowulf to take care of her children till they were able to take over the rule of Danes. In truth, Wealtheow expected and hoped that her own blood line would overtake the uneven and warlike plan of men of that age. This way, women played their fifth political role (Bjork & Niles, 25).
Finally, women had the role of explaining the importance Germanic rules of the time. Grendel went ahead and disobediently killed many men of Hrothgar’s Heorot army but only one counselor, Aeschene according to the code since she did not have a man price.
Evidently, women played a prominent role in society. Though they may not have been smooth to deal with, providing opposition, they hugely shape the societal activities and act as a mirror on which the successes and failures of community gets measured.