• Beowulf's Tears of Fatherhood

    Author(s):
    Mary Dockray-Miller (see profile)
    Date:
    1998
    Group(s):
    Anglo-Saxon / Old English, Early Medieval, LLC Old English
    Subject(s):
    Gender studies, Masculinity, Medieval literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Beowulf, masculinity, Old English
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6H97J
    Abstract:
    The figure of Hrothgar, aging king of the Danes, forces an analysis of the relationships among age, maleness, and masculinity in Beowulf. Masculine characters, while enacting the poem's complex reciprocities and social transactions in the hall and on the battlefield, accrue status and power through assertions of control and dominance, through knowledge and use of the rituals of hierarchy, and through manipulation of the variety of relationships that exists in the social world of Beowulf. Two specific incidents within the text exhibit Hrothgar's growing inability to exert power over others and to enact this masculine heroic ethos. The first is heterosexual, a departure to and return from his wife's bed; the second is homosocial, his leave-taking of Beowulf.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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