How were women treated in the times of Beowulf?

how did men treat women?

what were women used for?

what were their rights, if any?

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Anglo-Saxon women did not have an easy time of it. When they are young girls, they are under the protection of their father. When they come of age, they are sent to attend to the comforts of their husband. This isn't to say that men in Beowulf’s time were all fun and games either. Being a warrior was the greatest honour. This kept the life expectancy of the average warrior quite low. Although women were not expected to do battle, they were expected to have kids (the more boys the better), be mistress of the household and clean their husbands reeking wounds from battle. Oh and yes, women had basically no rights. On occasion a woman was asked to be a "peace-weaver". Basically she had to marry into an enemy tribe in hopes that she can mend the hostilities. In Beowulf the peace-weaver is Hildeburh. She is married to an enemy Frisian. Unfortunately peace isn't big on the Vikings’ list of things to do. Hildeburh ended up losing both her son and brother.