Paired Texts > Theseus and the Minotaur
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In this passage, the translation taken from the New King James Version Bible, the young and small shepherd David takes up the giant enemy warrior Goliath's challenge for battle in a true underdog fashion.Pair the myth with this story from the Bible. Have students discuss the similarities between the two heroes, Theseus and David. How were their challenges similar? What traits led them both to succeed?
In Howard Pyle's "The Water of Life", a king abuses his power by asking a faithful servant to complete difficult tasks for him, hoping to win the love of a princess.Pair “The Water of Life” with “Theseus and the Minotaur” and ask students to compare how the characters of both stories are corrupted by power. What do these stories teach us about power and those who abuse it? What leads to success in each story? Is this similar or different? Why? Students should use evidence from both texts to support their answers.
In Meredith Engel's "Chiron: The Wisest Centaur," Hermes, Messenger of the Gods, interviews Chiron the Centaur about his mentoring of young heroes.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” with “Chiron: The Wisest Centaur” and ask students to discuss the various heroes and creatures present in Greek mythology. How does Chiron the Centaur compare to the Minotaur? How does Theseus act heroically in the myth? How does the interview explore the heroic and just actions of Chiron?
In Michael A. Signal's "Welcome to the Underworld," Hermes, the messenger of the gods, takes readers on a tour of the Underworld.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” with “Welcome to the Underworld” to provide students with another story from Greek mythology. How does the myth about Theseus and the Minotaur compare to the myths about the Underworld and Hades? Ask students to discuss how they think Hades would have judged Theseus if he died.
In "Mercury's Sandals," a girl shows her new stepbrother how family should treat one another.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” and “Mercury’s Sandals” and have students identify how gods get involved in human affairs in both stories. How are the gods and humans affected by this? What lessons can be learned from both stories?
In "Theseus and the Minotaur," the ancient Greek hero Theseus faces the fearsome Minotaur in a labyrinth.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” with “Theseus and the Minotaur” to give students another example of a retelling of this famous myth. Compare the two myths and consider which they think is more effective in its retelling of the ancient Greek myth. Which of the two retellings did you enjoy the most? Why? If you were to retell the story, which details do they think would be most important to include? Why? What are three adjectives that you could use to describe each retelling of this myth?
In "Lost in a Corn Maze," Laurie Wallmark describes how corn mazes became a popular form of fall entertainment today.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” with “Lost in a Corn Maze” and have students compare the mazes in both texts. The author of “Lost in a Corn Maze” shares that the labyrinth from the Greek myth “Theseus and the Minotaur” is the most famous maze. How are the labyrinth from “Theseus and the Minotaur” and the corn maze from “Lost in a Corn Maze” similar and different? Do you think the creators of the first corn maze were inspired by the myth of “Theseus and the Minotaur”? Why or why not?
In "The Creation Story of the Maya," the Popol Vuh narrates how the six deities created the physical and natural world.Pair “Theseus and the Minotaur” with “The Creation Story of the Maya” and have students compare the actions of Theseus and the Hero Twins. What motivates Theseus to enter the labyrinth in “Theseus and the Minotaur”? How is his motivation similar to and different from the Hero Twins’ motivation to go to the Underworld in “The Creation Story of the Maya”? In your opinion, whose actions are braver? Why?