teacher gave this Q under Homer's chapter and gave the following link for referance, but one can answer in general that generally what classic stories are used in our own education?
Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Night, Morte d'Arthur, are all great. However, what about some of Poe's classic tales? The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue--all are excellent tales, and I respectfull suggest that they be considered in the classics of literature.
I would add Grimm's fairytales. We learn them as children, but appreciate the archetypes as they find there way again and again into more modern literature. We learn about witches in the forest, and we start to notice that woods are frequently places of exile, or moral wilderness. The (good) possibility of a step-mother being more of a menace than a pleasure shows up in other stories. The dream of a prince charming-type "soul mate" is the stuff of most romance novels.
In addition to the classics mentioned above, I would certainly add the morality play Everyman and the King Arthur tales, such as Morte d'Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I regularly teach all of these.
I would also want to add "The Lady of Shallot". It wasn't that long ago that students had to memorise this poem of by heart! Fancy that! Interestingly, Beowulf isn't really taught in English schools until University level, but Canterbury Tales is recognised as one of the central foundations of English Literature.
Certainly Beowulf, which may have been written in 675 A. D. is a classic tale that is in the canon of American reading. A marvelous adventure story, Beowulf is also a deeply philosophical work as it demonstrates an intriguing mix of pagan with Christian beliefs with Providence and Fate entering into the narrative.
Another classic work that is part of literary history in America is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, written in the late fourteenth century. Recognized as the first book of poetry written in the English language. Undoubtably, all the great English writers who have followed him such as Shakespeare, Milton, Pope,Shaw, et. al. owe him a debt of gratitude.
Certainly, the unparalleled works of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and Milton's Paradise Lost must be included as should Pope's The Rape of the Lock and Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.