Monsters Unit Novel Selections and Class Assignments You will

Monsters Unit Novel Selections and Class Assignments
You will check out one of the following titles in class on Friday, Wednesday, 9/7/12.
Please come prepared with your temporary ID card and you class schedule.
Grendel by John Gardner: The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic
Beowulf, tells his side of the story. “Gardner makes Grendel fully aware of his monstrosity and cruelty and
examines the ways he justifies his own existence and actions as a logical, thinking being.”
Beowulf, a verse translation, is brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate
Seamus Heaney. Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of
the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster
Grendel. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the
exhausted aftermath.
Dracula, by Bram Stoker: Told through a series of letters and diary entries written by the main characters, the
mysterious story of Count Dracula, the literary figure that popularized vampires is revealed bit by bit. The
Dracula mythology has inspired a vast subculture, but the story has never been better told than by Stoker.
Class assignments for this “Monsters” Unit will include:
The history and background of the English language: Old English as a language and the history of the British
Anglo-Saxon Poetry: “The Seafarer”, “The Wanderer”, “The Wife’s Lament”, and a selection from Beowulf by
Burton Raffel
Anglo-Saxon Prose: Selections from Bede’s History of the English Church and People, and The Anglo-Saxon
Coming Attractions: Second unit of study, “Chivalry, Romance, and Chaucer’s England”