Gender Roles: Men and Women from the Anglo-Saxon to the Renaissance Era Part 1
In Beowulf, Welthow represents the more traditional and conservative Anglo-Saxon woman because she is always subservient to men. Welthow being subservient to men id displayed when: “Then Welthow, / Hrothgar’s gold-ringed, green greeted / The warriors; a noble woman who knew / What was right . . . Then Welthow went from warrior to warrior, / Pouring a portion from the jeweled cup / For each, till the bracelet-wearing queen / Had carried the mead-cup among them . . . Turn to be served” (345-357). Although Welthow knows she is a queen, she still has to fulfill the needs of any man in her presence. She knows that is the right thing to do because she is aware of her role in society. Always being subservient to men is what she was supposed to do. Unlike today's time, a queen holds a very powerful position, therefore people serve her, not the other way around. It is extremely uncommon for a person of such high power to serve others. Although Welthow was an exemplar of the way women were supposed to act during this time, Grendel’s mother was not.