Beowulf

Misogyny in Beowulf 12th Grade

Beowulf is the tale of an isolated hero and his quest for power and fame. Beowulf fights those horrific beings that no other warrior dares to face, and in return receives great praise and acclaim for his bravery. This literary work can be considered a detailed insight into a world dominated by masculinity. As a result, any positive representation of femininity is absent from the text. In Beowulf, an underlying misogynistic theme is evident in the lack of female characters, the objectification of women, and the dehumanization of the females that are mentioned in the epic.

The plot of Beowulf tends to centralize around males and their displays of masculine power and strength, and this bias results in a lack of strong female characters and little insight on femininity in the context of this story’s time period. Besides Grendel’s mother, the handful of women mentioned are wives of important men. Wealhtheow was one of these women briefly mentioned: “Hrothgar’s queen, observing the courtesies. / Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted / the men in the hall” (lines 613-15). Unlike their significant others, these women aren’t described in great detail. The perspective of the story is slanted, and biased towards the male experience....

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