Theme Statements

What is a THEME? How do you write THEME STATEMENTS anyway?


A theme is the overall message of a written work, which can be displayed in one or two words. It should include conceptual words to state and describe principal ideas. A literary work can have more than one theme and is usually the message the author is trying to convey throughout a work.


  • Command
  • Always/Should/All
  • Specific to text or character
  • Cliché


- Obtain comprehension and understanding of characters behavior

- Use sometimes, can, may, often

- Convey into life

- Make general comment on a subject


- Express as subject or topic

- Convey as a moral

- Make too general

- Make too specific


  1. Read, analyze, and combine big ideas
  2. Choose abstract concept
  3. In form of a sentence state author, text and abstract concept
  4. Then state the opinion of the concept and what it reveals from text


  • Perseverance is displayed in the play Merchant of Venice to show hatred and the need of vengeance to retaliate one's own respect and importance.
  • Love is shown in the play Merchant of Venice to reveal brotherly love that has acquired through friendship and displays a sense of hurt when having to part ways.
  • Desperation is demonstrated in the play Merchant of Venice to show how broke and needy one was about receiving money to impress and get what was desired.