Universal themes in literature are common ideas that appear in plays, poems and stories – even though they were written decades or even centuries apart. Plays written thousands of years ago by the Greek playwrights Aeschylus and Sophocles have themes that are virtually identical to themes that appear in literature from modern times, and just about every literary work includes some of these timeless ideas.Know More
One of the most common universal themes is the unavoidability of death. The fact that all people are mortal has always been an important idea. It appears in one of the very first works of literature, the epic poem "Gilgamesh," which comes from ancient Mesopotamia, but also in the late 20th century film "Death Becomes Her."
Marriage and love represent another universal theme, and the struggle that each person faces to find a place in society is also a common universal theme. The idea of the hero's quest is just as crucial in Homer's "Odyssey" as it is in the Coen Brothers' film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and the question of morality is important in works spanning from Sophocles' "Antigone" to Donna Tartt's debut novel, "The Secret History." Because all of these ideas are important to humanity, they continue to appear in works of literature.Learn more about Philosophy
Neo-Malthusian theory holds that population growth is exponential and that human population growth can easily outstrip its food resources if not held in check with artificial birth control measures. It differs from traditional Malthusian theory in the proposed birth control solution.Full Answer >
William Shakespeare is known for writing plays and poems during his career. He wrote tragic, comedy, romantic and history plays among the 38 plays with which he is credited. His poems included long narratives and sonnets.Full Answer >
The exact definition of literature varies from one reader or critic to the next, but most agree that it is any writing with some degree of merit and language that serves as a gateway to the literary world. The word "literature" comes from the Latin word "literatura," which means "writing formed with letters." Whether someone writes fiction or nonfiction, or prose or poetry, it is possible to write literature. In modern times, a series of genres has arisen to take on the question of defining the field of study.Full Answer >
In literature, a theme is a common thread or main idea that is repeated throughout a literary work. The theme of a novel or story is the major message that organizes the entire work. The theme may be expressed overtly, but more often it must be uncovered by reading deeply through the work and analyzing the story's plot, characters and use of literary devices.Full Answer >