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Marginalized Characters and Groups in Beowulf

            Do you ever feel like you are being shut out from a group? Or like your opinion is ignored and considered insignificant? In present society the exclusion of people or groups of people often occurs, which makes these (groups of) people outcasts. Most of the time this means that they are being totally ignored and blocked from several rights and oppurtunities and/or them being sumbissive to others. In real life the extremity of such cases can differ from a new kid in elementary school having no friends to the situation in the Middle-East where multiple tribes like the Kurds are considered second rate citizens. This is not only a problem which is familiar nowadays, it has been taking place for over centuries, like the 'Apartheid', the massacre of the Jews and the exlusion of the Protestants in the 16th century. In the Beowolf story this is an apparent theme. Various people or groups are in some way marginalized or excluded. Some of these groups (of people) that will be discussed are women and Grendel and his mother, the monsters, at the end the marginalization of these two groups will be compared and contrasted. The main question is; Why and how are certain groups in Beowulf marginalized and thus made outcasts and in what ways are they similar and different?.
             First of all, women are the major victims of marginalisation in the story. A reason for the unimportance and the subservient role of women in Beowulf is that heroic epics such as beowulf tend to valorize men's deeds in war; thus, in this warring society, it is difficult to recognize the presence of women who are shadows to the main male-centered action. Men were seen as the central leaders in their society. They were the heads of their household and represented the strength and wisdom of their society. Women were defined as possessions and had no rights in this masculine world but were only necessary in serving the men. An example of this is when Wealtheow enters the hall, "observing the courtesies Adorned in her gold, she graciously saluted the men in the hall, then handed the cup" (Beowulf 614-616).

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