The following collection of thematically related readings is available
in Beowulf and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature
"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
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
"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
Excerpt from A Gathering of Heroes by Gregory Alan-Williams,
Summary: A terrible crisis calls forth a heroic response in this nonfiction
account of the Los Angeles riots of 1992.