Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7765
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Fee , Christopher.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Beag and Beaghroden: Women, Treasure, and the Language of Social Structure in "Beowulf"
  • Source: Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 97, 3 ( 1996): Pages 285 - 294.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Beag (Old English: Ring, Bracelet, Crown) Beowulf, Old English Epic Exchange of Women Literature- Verse Old English Language Peace Weavers Treasure Women in Literature
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 8-9
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: The language used to describe the treasure objects in Beowulf is similar to that used to describe women, and this similarity serves to underscore the analogous functions of the practices of "ring-giving" and "peace-weaving" in the cultural context of the poem. Both of these actions are used to affect social cohesion between and within groups of men, and both of these practices are ultimately flawed in that they rely on the socially construed value of the "objects" of exchange in order to insure loyalty to oaths. This article exmaines the cultural relationship between these social constructs, and between women and treasure items, by exploring the semantic significance of such terms as beag, beaghroden, and goldhroden, and by determining that there is a regular and consistent pattern of description linking women and treasure objects in the language of the poem. [Reproduced by permission of the Modern Language Society]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Glasgow
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00283754