View a video by Gina Brandolino comparing the medieval tale Beowulf with the movie Alien (and Aliens). A transcript is available here.



Below is a list of sources referenced in the video above, as well as helpful resources for further exploration of topics raised as part of the discussion.


Alien. Directed by Ridley Scott. Twentieth Century Fox, 1979.

Aliens. Directed by James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox, 1986.

Beowulf. Trans. Seamus Heaney. WW Norton & Company, 2000.

Context and Analysis

Acker, Paul. “Horror and the Maternal in Beowulf.” PMLA 121.3 (2006): pp. 702–716.

Doherty, Thomas. “Genre, Gender, and the Aliens Trilogy.” The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film, 2nd ed. Ed. Barry Keith Grant. University of Texas Press, 2015, pp.

Fowler, Douglas. “Alien, The Thing and the Principles of Terror.” Studies in Popular Culture 4 (1981): pp. 16–23.

Haydock, Nickolas. “Meat Puzzles: Beowulf  and Horror Film.” Studies in Medievalism XXIII: Ethics and Medievalism. Ed. K. Fugelso. Boydell & Brewer, 2014, pp. 123-146.

Hills, Elizabeth. “From ‘Figurative Males’ to Action Heroines: Further Thoughts on Active Women in the Cinema.” Screen 40 (1999): pp. 38-50.

Owen-Crocker, Gale R. “Horror in Beowulf: Mutilation, Decapitation, ad Unburied Dead.” Early Medieval English Texts and Interpretations: Studies Presented to Donald G. Scragg. Eds. Elaine Treharne and Susan Rosser. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2002, pp. 81-100.


Brandolino, Gina. Beowulf and Alien, Middle Ages for Educators, January 20, 2021. Accessed[date].