Sample Analytical Paper Topics
These are topics on which you can write a substantial analytical paper. They are designed to test your understanding of major themes and details from the play as a whole. Following the topics are outlines you can use as a starting point for writing an analytical paper.
Discuss the conflict between Good and Evil in Billy Budd. Consider the historical and geographic contexts for the various events in which the conflict between Good and Evil is expressed.
I. Thesis Statement: The setting for Billy Budd, aboard a ship in wartime, provides a world in miniature where the complexities of the conflict between Good and Evil unfold dramatically.
A. Justification for impressment in wartime
B. Injury to personal freedom
C. The “Good” vs. the “Evil” aspects of impressment
III. The shipboard culture
A. Ordinary seamen vs. the officers
C. Billy’s difficulties aboard the Indomitable
D. Dansker’s explanation
IV.The mutinous plot
A. Foreshadowing and context
B. The offer to Billy
C. Billy’s response
D. Claggart’s evil intent
V. False accusation
A. Foreshadowing, where Claggart is compared to the Rev. Titus Oates
B. Historical/political climate
C. Claggart’s charges
(The entire section is 526 words.)