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Preparing to Write About Themes and Ideas

Preparing to Write About Themes and Ideas

english languageAll of the best and famous stories were written in order to make some comment about the world we live in and how we live. When you are examining the theme of a book, play or poem you are essentially writing about why the author cared about the issue and why the reader should too.

Themes are the underlying subjects that run through the story, for example love, conflict, power, racism…

Let’s look at Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare as an example. The main story is about two young adults who fall in love and die trying to stay together but everyone knows that Shakespeare is addressing more than these two people; he is looking at all young people and everyone who has ever been in love. He knows that love is an ideal that everyone looks for but not everyone finds due to the realities of life. So, Romeo and Juliet allows Shakespeare to explore a whole range of ideas and themes. Examples of these ideas and themes are:

  • Tension between rival families
  • Tension inside families
  • Conflicts and contrasts between different ages
  • Forbidden love
  • Individuals struggle with society
  • The conflict that arises between what we want to do and what life throws at us

These themes apply to more texts than just Romeo and Juliet – they are very common.