Tutor profile: Esperanza T.
What is the difference between a theme and a motif?
When writing an analysis paper, it is crucial to understand the difference between a theme and a motif. Too often, these are used interchangeably, but no more. A theme is the underlying abstract concept that drives the action and plot of the piece. A motif is a recurring physical trait, element, or symbolic object which can be found throughout the piece. While the motif may relate to the theme, it is not the same thing. Motifs are physical; themes are abstract.
Subject: Film and Theater
What is the difference between a tragedy and a melodrama?
When analyzing a play, the key difference between a tragedy and a melodrama is that a tragedy is inevitable and caused by circumstances, whereas in a melodrama the character contributes to their own demise.
When analyzing a piece of literature, why is it important to understand the historical context of when it was written?
An understanding of the world surrounding the author at the time that he or she wrote the piece gives readers a perspective into their mindset. This is particularly important when reading ancient texts, which were written in a world so vastly different from our own that to judge them by modern social constructs would be an injustice to both the written work and its author.
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