Everything you need to understand or teach Grendel by John Gardner.
Background: The Epic Beowulf
John Gardner's Grendel is a retelling of the first part of the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, with an important difference. In Grendel, the monster gets to tell the story. Because this is a retelling, however, Gardner assumes that his reader is familiar with the story of Beowulf. Indeed, without such familiarity the reader would be lost. Accordingly, the following is a very brief summary of the Anglo-Saxon story.
Beowulf is the oldest long poem in English, written as early as perhaps the seventh century A.D., with the only manuscript version dating to around 1000 A.D. The Danish King, Hrothgar, has built a fabulous meadhall, Heorot, for himself and his retainers. However, Heorot is not safe: each night the monster Grendel attacks the hall and kills Hrothgar's men. Beowulf, a Geat, hears of Hrothgar's distress and travels the land of the Danes to help rid Heorot of the monster and to... View more of the Grendel Summary
Grendel Lesson Plans contain 109 pages of teaching material, including: