Beowulf and Grendal

Essay by Anarchy123 May 2004

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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

Anglo-Saxon custom.

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...