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Beowulf

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in Beowulf and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"The Wanderer" by Anonymous, translated by Burton Raffel
(from Poems and Prose from the Old English)
Summary: In this powerful Anglo-Saxon lyric, a warrior laments his lost lord and community.

"Beowulf" by Richard Wilbur
(from Ceremony and Other Poems, © 1950)
Summary: A contemporary poet explores another side of the ancient hero's life.

Excerpt from Grendel by John Gardner, © 1971
Summary: This modern retelling from Grendel's point of view provides an inside look at the mind of a monster.

"Beowulf" by Maurice Sagoff
(from Shrinklits, © 1970)
Summary: This parody in poetic couplets presents a humorous summary of the Anglo-Saxon epic.

Excerpt from Gilgamesh by Anonymous, translated by Herbert Mason © 1970
Summary: In this selection from the world's oldest surviving epic, the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu take on a frightening monster.

"David and Goliath"
(from The King James Bible)
Summary: A shepherd lad faces a menacing giant in this famous hero tale from the Bible.

"The Seven Deadly Sins: Anger" by Linda Pastan
(from A Fraction of Darkness, © 1985)
Summary: A contemporary poet explores a "monster" that can lurk within us all.

Excerpt from A Gathering of Heroes by Gregory Alan-Williams, © 1994
Summary: A terrible crisis calls forth a heroic response in this nonfiction account of the Los Angeles riots of 1992.