Character Analysis Wealhtheow


Hrothgar's queen is an embodiment of hospitality and good taste as she hosts the banquets in Heorot. She is everything that a queen should be: generous, tasteful, proper, and kind. Her graceful appearance shortly after the Unferth incident contrasts effectively with the rude behavior of the drunken retainer. Wealhtheow is a peace-weaver and takes an active role in diplomacy, generously presenting Beowulf with a valuable gold collar and asking him to serve as counselor to her sons.

The role of women, who were still thought of as their husbands' possessions, is limited in Beowulf. Sometimes they were used as peacemakers between feuding tribes who found uniting through marriage to be in their best interests. The poet indicates that Wealhtheow came to Hrothgar as a result of that kind of union.