is more than one "woman-type" in this literature, and few are recognizable as 20th-century stereotypes; consider Norse
parallels to warrior goddesses, queens, sooth-sayers, and
so forth. How do women overshadow and outperform men like
Hrothgar and Unferth? Consider the spectrum of morality
displayed by both women and men--can we reduce this poem
to two teams, the Men and the Women? What role does formality,
ritual, and order play in these scenes? (See John Hill's
book, The Narrative Pulse of Beowulf.) And what role does the implicit critique offered by Christianity play (blessed are the meek, and so forth)?
battles in halls. How does Grendel's Mother compare to
Weahltheow? Is it the case that a female who acts like
a brutal man is more "liberated" than one who acts within
the confines of law and tradition? Does freedom mean being able to control other people, to kill them, to utterly destroy their homes and families? How can one be free outside the law?
chs. 11-14; OEA § 7