In both texts, Beowulf and Grendel, the main purpose of the
Queen's are to serve the courts as "weavers of peace". In Grendel
however, Queen Wealththeow is described in much greater detail and
serves a further purpose. The reader gains insight to a part Grendel
that is not present in Beowulf, his desire for a human.
It was not unusual for women to be offered as tokens of peace
within the noble courts. In the novel Grendel, Wealhtheow's brother,
King of the Helmings, bestowed her to King Hrothgar to promote peace
amongst the Helmings and Scyldings. "She had given, her life for those
she loved. So would any simpering, eyelash batting female in her
court, given the proper setup, the minimal conditions"(Grendel,
p.102). It is ironic how she promoted peace from her arrival because
she was an essential part in keeping peace, as the "weaver of peace"
in the later of both texts.
Queen Wealhtheow however is not the only
woman in the texts that was forsaken to encourage appeasement amongst
feuding courts. Queen Hygd was offered to Hygelac under very similar
circumezces as told in Beowulf, and portrayed the same role in
Hygelac's kingdom. There is reference in both texts concerning this
tradition, and it is evident to the reader that this is not an unusual
Queen Wealhtheow and Queen Hygd served as excellent role models
for the courts in which they served. They exemplified the mannerisms
and etiquette of the noble people. Queen Wealhtheow showed excellent
poise from the very beginning of both texts. She was admirable as she
passed the mead bowl around Heorot. The offering of the bowl was
symbolic, being that the bowl was first given to Hrothgar and then
passed to Beowulf, as if she presented him with her trust. Beowulf...