• The Masculine Queen of Beowulf

    Author(s):
    Mary Dockray-Miller (see profile)
    Date:
    1998
    Group(s):
    Anglo-Saxon / Old English, Early Medieval, LLC Old English
    Subject(s):
    Medieval literature, Women's studies
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Old English, Beowulf
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6K96S
    Abstract:
    Traditional equation of women with the feminine and men with the masculine is disrupted when Beowulf is read within the rubric of gender performance as determined by Judith Butler in Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter. Performativity enables a new way of interpreting the characters of Beowulf; specifically, in the world of the poem masculinity is power, most emphatically the power to control the actions of others. The violent queen Modþryðo illustrates the performative nature of the gender of power and shows that action, rather than biological sex, is the determinant of that gender. Modþryðo, though female, is ultimately masculine since she wields power in the way that Beowulf does.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Journal:
    Women and Language
    Volume:
    21
    Start Page:
    31
    End Page:
    38
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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