Throughout all of time, views on the role of women have drastically changed. In the Anglo- Saxon time period in which the novel, Beowulf, was written, women were seen to have specifically only one role that was what made them who they were. In Beowulf, one can see how women were looked down upon by the roles that the few female characters played. The author uses Grendel's mother, especially, to portray women to have aggressive and vicious characteristics. Along with these characteristics, he also uses Grendel's mother to portray the idea that women were less than men and had the solely role of being a mother. In one important scene in the novel, Grendel's mother's violent ways come out in a fight between her and Beowulf. The author uses this important scene in order to portray how society at this time thought of women as being trivial than men; described as "war-thirsty" and "kill-greedy" (lines 1497-1499). Through the usage of Grendel's mother's monstrous actions and characteristics, the author portrays how women were perceived as insubstantial, especially compared to men, during the time the novel was written. .
Through this particular fight scene between Beowulf and Grendel's mother, the author uses Grendel's mother's actions to portray how society viewed women during this time. Grendel's mother portrays extremely vicious actions against Beowulf throughout the scene to show the inelegant and man-like features women had during that time period. In the beginning she starts to attack Beowulf very aggressively, "carried to her den the lord of those rings,/ clutched him so hard he might now draw sword" (lines 1506-1508). Not only is the mother described as being rough, but she is also showed to be overly strong. During this time period of the novel, women were shown to have gross- like actions, which is not what a man desired in a woman. Women during this time also tried extremely hard to get by day to day being treated and seen as the way they were.