• Mary Dockray-Miller deposited Beowulf’s Tears of Fatherhood in the group Group logo of LLC Old EnglishLLC Old English on MLA Commons 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    The figure of Hrothgar, aging king of the Danes, forces an analysis of the relationships among age, maleness, and masculinity in Beowulf. Masculine characters, while enacting the poem’s complex reciprocities and social transactions in the hall and on the battlefield, accrue status and power through assertions of control and dominance, through knowledge and use of the rituals of hierarchy, and through manipulation of the variety of relationships that exists in the social world of Beowulf. Two specific incidents within the text exhibit Hrothgar’s growing inability to exert power over others and to enact this masculine heroic ethos. The first is heterosexual, a departure to and return from his wife’s bed; the second is homosocial, his leave-taking of Beowulf.