Hamlet. A Tale of Two Cities. Paradise Lost. The Chronicles of Narnia. Beowulf. Bridget Jones' Diary. The Aeneid. What do these famous works of British literature have in common besides being writted by awesome, auspicious, and alliterative authors who dwelt in England during the Punic Wars? The answer is: Theme. The Elias Sports Bureau estimates that at least 35% of books have theme, and that Delino Deshields hits more home runs off of left-handed pitchers. My thesis is: there are lots of themes in British literature.
Theme is defined as the thematic representation of an idea, concept, or belief. Take Hamlet, for example. After extensive Internet research and hours of meditation on the Cliff's Notes for this illustrious text, I have concluded that the theme of Hamlet is "the." The word "the" is used a staggering twenty-one times in Hamlet's famous 34-line "To be or not to be" soliloquy alone. This is one "the" every 1.6 lines. The incredible frequency with which "the" is used unequivocally categorizes "the" as the central theme of Hamlet. By the way, this method of logic is known as inductive reasoning.
One can also use deductive reasoning to deduce the thematic theme of a book by following the following four-step process, as I have done for Bridget Jones' Diary:
1) The title of the book is Bridget Jones' Diary
2) The book was written by a character named Bridget
3) The content of the book involves the life of the
Therefore, the only logical conclusion is:
4) The theme of Bridget Jones' Diary is oatmeal, or "gruel," and
its role in gender identity.
There are also themes in poetry, for example in the following excerpt from a poem by acclaimed British author Harry Potter:
A duck quacks at dawn -
Death has come to the village.
A little boy lies in the dusty street,
Who will dry his tears?
The theme of this passage is profound and recondite. In fact, it is so abstruse that I will let you figure it out for yourself.
Themes are also found in the works of British author Edgar Allan Poe, who was actually of Pakistani ancestry and lived in Korea, but he ate a lot of crumpets. The main themes in Poe's writings, such as The Pit and the Pendulum, are love, charity, and happiness.
According to a Gallup poll of drug dealers in the barrios of Oxford, the favorite theme of the British people is "allegory." Allegory is a parallel world in which the characters see things that cannot be embodied in real life, such as Hope, Love, and the Avenging Penguin of Doom. "It's kinda like what happens when you get high on amphetamines," said one dealer [Note to the astute reader: Observe that the 4th-8th letters of "ampHETAMines" can be rearranged to form "thema," the ancient Greek word from which was derived our word "artichoke"]. Pilgrim's Progress, written by Paul Bunyan while he was incarcerated in the town of Vanity Fair, in the classic example of allegory. In the story, young John travels to the Heavenly City with his blue ox, Babe. On their journey they make friends with Faithful, pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, join the Lumberjacks' Union, and create the Appalachian Mountains. There are a lot of themes in Pilgrim's Progress too.
Shakespeare's pastoral essay "Macbeth" contains a rich treasury of themes. In "Macbeth," Hamlet and Desdemona fall in love. Miranda also loves Hamlet, but her father Brutus forbids her to see Hamlet because he is black. Hamlet's brother Iago, along with Hermia and Cassius, put on the play "Pyramus and Thisbe" to convict King Henry IV of his guilt from murdering Prospero. In order to lure Desdemona away from Hamlet, Miranda has her cousin Juliet dress as a man. She is successful: on the Ides of May, Desdemona falls in love with Juliet and begins to fight with Audrey over "him." Meanwhile Juliet's lover Lysander, also known as "Monsieur Melancholy," goes insane because Juliet is missing. He smothers Touchstone and pours poison into Hamlet's ear. Hamlet's father Mercutio is enraged and orders Ariel to turn Lysander's head into that of an ass. At the end of the play, Desdemona, upon seeing Hamlet dead, immediately suspects foul play and teams up with Ophelia to plot the murder of Julius Caesar. There are a whole bunch of themes in there!
Themes should be a part of everyone's life. In preparing this research paper, I woke up at 3 AM every Saturday to ponder the issue of Themes. And I have arrived at a momentous conclusion, and elucidated deduction that will transfigure the future of humanity --- There are themes. Themes exist. You bet they do!