These are all good STARTING POINTS into most of the works we've
read, although you can take other approaches.
One such approach is to examine the works of a particular
writer within the historical context during which it was
written. What, in other words, makes the works represent a
particular period, culture, etc.? You can also
examine the relationship between the author's life and the works
Once you have decided on a general topic to explore, you could
go one of three ways: examine a couple of shorter works by
the same author, examine a longer work by one author, or examine
a few short works by two different authors. I would try
not to examine more than one novel or
play, two short stories,
or three poems.
Some potential topics. Keep in mind that for each of
these topics, you will need to develop an opinion or
answer a question:
The Trojan War: Trojan vs. Greek Perspective (Aeneid
Comparison of Kings (Pick Two): Gilgamesh vs. Agamemnon
vs. Oedipus vs. Sundiata vs. Dido (O.K., She's not a King, but
She could make for an interesting comparison), Dido vs.
Suicide & Reasons for It: Jocasta and Dido
Love Poetry (Pick Two): Chinese vs. Roman vs. Greek vs.
Piety (Pick Two): Job vs. Dante vs. Adam & Eve
Portrayal of War (Pick Two): Iliad vs Aeneid
vs. Bhagavad-Gita vs. Sundiata
Intercultural Influence: Greek to Roman , Chinese to Japanese
Allegorical Journeys: Dante's Inferno
Religious Perspectives: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
vs. Dante's Inferno (Pick Two)
Limits of Knowledge: Adam & Eve, et al. in the Old
Tempters/Evil Influences: Serpent vs. Satan
Relationships between Cultures and Versions of
Creation: Egypt/Poetry, Africa/Myths, Greek/Hesiod, etc.
(pick two cultures to compare)