brit lit essay

brit lit essay - Grendel is descended from Cain, but also...

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Grendel is descended from Cain, but also from his mother. Dark female other, feminine excess Beowulf –women are visible tokens of male alliances while the female's gender is seen as accidental, excessive, and secondary . As "little bears," they acted out the role of untamed animals that eventually would be domesticated through marriage. Women could attend public speeches and visit certain sanctuaries, such as those of Artemis at Brauron and the Sanctuary of the Nymph at the foot of the Akropolis. However, during any occasion outside of the house, a young woman was expected to be inconspicuous and to be covered around the head to obscure most of her face and neck. The culmination of a young woman's socialization was her marriage ( 56.11.1 ), which usually took place at the age of fourteen or fifteen. Marriage did not require a young bride's consent, as she was simply passed from the protection of her father to that of her husband. A young woman in Classical Athens lacked any rights of citizenship, and could only be described as the wife of an Athenian citizen. However, a bride brought to her marriage a dowry that was not available for the husband to spend. In fact, on the rare occasion that the marriage failed, the dowry was returned to the wife's father. The consummation of marriage signaled the end of a young woman's status as a kore , or young maiden, as she was then classified as a nymphe , or bride, until the birth of her first child, when she became a gyne , or woman. The life expectancy of the average woman was about forty years old espite the extreme social restraint on women in classical antiquity, it is interesting that they had a number of powerful female goddesses of e type that were never available to Christian women. Demeter was able to retrieve her daughter Persephone, Artemis could send a fatal ow, and Athena had the ability to resist marriage and motherhood, and to provide advice to respected Greek heroes. Aphrodite, Hera, estia, and Hekate were also powerful goddesses, intensely honored and greatly admired by women and men alike. Colette Hemingway Independent Scholar Rather than using words or marriage to exert influence, they use physical strength and weapons. Through my own familiarity with the text I am inclined to agree with those scholars who view Grendel's mother as law abiding, if not fully accepted by society, in her search for justice.
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENG 110 taught by Professor Shusanavaygan during the Spring '08 term at Illinois State.

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brit lit essay - Grendel is descended from Cain, but also...

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