The Feminine Identity in the Domestic Coding of Beowulf

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Deb Proshad Halder
Sharon Campbell Phillips


The Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, has received many views and reviews on various perspectives. Feministic or anti-feministic terrain is not unsought through this piece of work. This article aims to note on the binary opposition of the two female characters, Wealtheow, the wife of Hrothgar and Grendel’s mother. Both the characters are weighed with the balance of an Anglo-Saxon code, namely ‘Domestic Code’ proposed by Molter and the fate of them is decided upon that balance. An important thing to be noted in this article is that the female characters are viewed from a societal perspective, but not on the basis of their physique. Grendel’s mother exercises the social norms expected from the descendant of Cain. She is not distinctively appeared as a child bearing mother as is not done to Wealtheow as a queen of distinction. No question of survival can be traced here. They work as a programmed machine. But the matter of concern is that the programming of Grendel’s mother loses appropriateness with the consideration of values nourished by the society of     Beowulf.

Femininity, domestic code, Anglo-Saxon, identity, appropriateness, Beowulf.

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How to Cite
Halder, D. P., & Campbell Phillips, S. (2020). The Feminine Identity in the Domestic Coding of Beowulf. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 2(4), 1-5. Retrieved from
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