A copy of the Theseus and The Minotaur can be downloaded here: Theseus and the Minotaur.
Here are 10 activities to extend your learning at home. They get progressively more difficult and the last two focus on creative writing
2. Why did King Aegeus have to send sacrifices to King Minos? Use evidence from the story in your answer.
3. Who was The Minotaur and how did he come into existence?
4. Make a list of Theseus’ actions throughout the story. To what extent does he fit the ideal of a true Greek Hero? Use evidence from the story in your answer.
5. Compare The Minotaur to Medusa. Which do you feel is the most terrifying monster? You should consider:
- Their appearance
- Their habitat
- Their actions
6. Read the following extract from the story:
The beast kicked and butted and struggled. But Theseus had been fighting all his life. He whirled round, bringing his sword crashing through the air. The blade bit into the creature’s neck, cutting through sinew and bone. The Minotaur shrieked. The animal head fell away from the human body. It stood for a moment, gushing blood, arms flailing in the air. Then at last the beast collapsed, gave a gargling gasp and lay dead.
Pick 3 of the most interesting words from this passage. Explain what these words mean and how they help describe the struggle between Theseus and The Minotaur.
7. Read the following extract from the opening story:
In the days when Athens was not a major city but a small town on the edge of a cliff by the sea, a strange thing would happen every seven years. Athens appeared to be gripped by a mysterious disease. The doors and shutters would close. The children would be forbidden to play. Their parents would sit indoors, their hands clasped and their faces grim. Nobody would be in sight. Nobody would move. Only a whisper would be heard, carried by the wind along the empty streets.
And then a second name, a name that throughout Ancient Greece could inspire only the deepest dread.
How does the writer use language to make the opening of the story dramatic and interesting? Use words and phrases from the opening as evidence in your answer.
8. Use the knowledge organiser to remind yourself of the main themes in Greek Mythology. Pick three of these themes and explain in detail how they link to this particular story.
9. Creative Writing: Imagine you were trapped in the labyrinth, but somehow manage to escape. Write your story. You could start from landing in Crete and being help prisoner by the evil King Minos.
10. Creative Writing: Do you feel sorry for The Minotaur? Has he actually done anything wrong? He didn’t ask to be made, he didn’t ask to be trapped. Write a short story which gives a different view of The Minotaur, perhaps that shows sympathy for him. Could Theseus be the real monster?