Beowulf part 1-18
Answers 1Add Yours
Women seem to have had a rather ceremonial role in the society of Beowulf. In Wealhtheow's main appearance in the poem, at the feast between the slaying of Grendel and the raid of Grendel's mother, she comes "forth" (whether that word in this context means into the room from outside or simply down from the high table) and offers a special cup first to Hrothgar and then to Beowulf, making a speech to each of them. Some scholars have interpreted her words to Hrothgar as showing fear that he may intend to leave his kingdom to Beowulf rather than to his own (and Wealhtheow's) sons, but in any case she presents Beowulf with lavish gifts and expresses her gratitude for what he has done for the Danes and her trust that he will be a friend to her sons in the future. (Ironically, if she fears that Beowulf may step in front of her sons one day and take the Danish throne for himself, she's conjuring the worng man, since other Old Norse sources indicate that Hrothgar was succeeded by his nephew Hrothulf, in whom Wealhtheow has just moments earlier expressed her confidence as someone who will protect the boys' rights.)
This is part of an excerpt from an answer that is way better than mine would have been. I'll put it in the source link below for you to check it out!