The Role Of Women Through The Ages

901 Words May 1st, 2015 4 Pages
Robert Rinderknecht
Engl 2322 Anglo Saxon
Apr. 27th 2015
The Role of Women through the Ages

Historical timepieces give readers a glimpse into the lifestyles of humans through the ages. Many customs are still in force where others are long forgotten. One of these customs that is seen with a slow progression is the role of women. The key question to ask is are women in these poems active equals of the men or are they passive victims of the men. The roles of the women in Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, and Utopia are not always stereotyped as a passive homemaker, child bearer and peace weaver, but sometimes giving freedom of choice, range of activity, and room for personal growth and development. This freedom becomes more apparent as time passes by with very little in Beowulf, to a much more accepted form in Utopia.
Beowulf is an epic tale written in the 7th century. In the poem, only a few female characters are introduced that possess unique characteristics. The women in Beowulf are portrayed as strong quiet individuals, who have very simple tasks. However, they are considered property and have very little freedoms of choice where patriarchal society is dominating. Such as Wealhtheow, when she is first introduced, she is portrayed as a gracious hostesses of the mead halls filling the cups for the men.. Wealhtheow is Hrothgar 's queen and the mother of his two sons. Wealhtheow portrays the role of a traditional woman for the time period. While, the views on women may…
Open Document