Thematic analysis paper/project , writing homework help

Question description***No Plagiarism***

Please let me know if there is anything you do not quite understand or are unsure about!

Please include everything I have asked for!


For this project, you will be writing a thematic analysis paper. This is your final paper for high school English, and it should demonstrate everything you have learned not only in this unit, but in this class, and in your entire high school career.

Your paper will compare and contrast Macbeth with another piece that we read in this class. This means that first you will need to choose a theme from Macbeth (knowledge, ambition, etc.), and then choose another story from this course that handles a similar theme.


The focus of your paper should be on how this theme is developed throughout each story. You should show how the writer uses the plot, characters, sequencing, or other techniques to create a conclusion about this theme. (For example, “Shakespeare uses the genre of tragedy to show us how ambition can lead to an ultimate downfall.”) Then, deepen the conversation by adding a comparison and contrast to another piece we read in this class. (“In contrast, the genre of epic glorifies ambition, which we see clearly through the way Beowulf boasts about his strength and then goes on to slay his enemies.”) Focus on these points:

  • What assertion does the story make about the theme? (Ambition is dangerous. Femininity does not mean weakness or frailty.)
  • What techniques does the writer use to create this assertion? (Characters, plot, genre, literary devices, etc.)
  • What similarities are there between the themes in the two stories? (Both Macbeth and Beowulf are prime examples of masculinity.)
  • What significant differences are there between the themes in the two stories? (Macbeth ultimately destroys his community, his loved ones, and himself; Beowulf uses his strength to save people from a terrible monster.)
  • What can we learn about this theme from the comparison and contrast of these two stories? (While we see ambition, strength, and cruelty as essential parts of masculinity in these two stories, it is in the selfishness of the individual that danger lies.)

Your paper must include textual analysis. (Review this unit’s close reading pages to review.) Use a minimum of six passages (quotes) from the stories throughout your paper (at least one per story, per body paragraph).

This essay should be between two and five pages (500-1250 words) in length. It should be in 12-point font in Times New Roman.

10% of your grade will be on grammar and mechanics. Write as clearly and correctly as you can. This means that 90% of your grade is based on your ideas – however, you will not earn an A if you do not proofread carefully and check for errors.


First, choose a theme that you find compelling. Then, choose an accompanying story from elsewhere in the course. Here are a few suggestions of themes, and what might make a good comparison. Feel free to use any of these. Remember, you must discuss Macbeth. Then, you can discuss either one or two accompanying stories.


  • Knowledge: Macbeth vs. Genesis
  • Ambition and Temptation: Macbeth vs. Don Quixote
  • Femininity and Strength: Lady Macbeth vs. Grendel’s Mother
  • Masculinity and Cruelty: Macbeth vs. Beowulf
  • Kingship and Tyranny: Macbeth vs. King Arthur
  • Appearance and Reality: Macbeth vs. the Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels
  • Fate and Freewill: Macbeth vs. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Guilt and Remorse: Lady Macbeth vs. Sir Bedivere in Le Mort d’Arthur

Next, work on creating a solid outline.

The most important thing about comparing and contrasting is looking for the significant points. Here are some of the big mistakes students make while comparing and contrasting:

1) Some students make the mistake of finding irrelevant contrasts. Because they are told to contrast, they take the first three differences that come to mind. For example, Beowulf was written long before Macbeth. This is true, but not important to a discussion of the themes in the stories.

2) Not contrasting enough. Often, students try to make the two stories fit together by ignoring important points of difference. You will find insight and meaning by digging into the different ways the stories develop the theme – do not try to make the characters, plots, and themes line up perfectly side-by-side.

3) Poor organization. Many students end up with a weak, four-paragraph structure (introduction, body paragraph, body paragraph, conclusion). Often, their body paragraphs either focus on all the similarities and then all the differences, or they discuss just one character (Macbeth) in one paragraph and then the other character in the next (Beowulf). These will leave you with a confusing paper. The best way to develop a strong comparison and contrast is to choose three points of comparison (the beginning, middle, and end of the story), and discuss both characters according to one point. Here is a sample outline:

Thesis statement: While Beowulf and Macbeth both address themes of masculinity and its relationship to strength, violence, power, and cruelty, the two characters use these tools in quite different ways.

First Body Paragraph: The Beginning
1) Beowulf is strong and powerful
2) Macbeth leads a successful war campaign

Second Body Paragraph: The Middle
1) Beowulf boasts about his strength publicly before the fight
2) Macbeth is crafty and underhanded; he kills the king in his sleep and covers it up

Third Body Paragraph: The End
1) Beowulf saves the people from the monsters
2) Macbeth causes a bloody mess

Conclusion – While we see ambition, strength, and cruelty as essential parts of masculinity in these two stories, it is in the selfishness of the individual that danger lies.

Create your outline to be similar in structure for the strongest essay.

Make sure that you locate your textual evidence from the texts before you begin drafting. Remember what we learned about close reading, citing Shakespeare, and “quote sandwiches.”

***No Plagiarism***

Please let me know if there is anything you do not quite understand or are unsure about!

Please include everything I have asked for!


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