Motif vs Theme: Difference and Comparison

Confusion always occurs to similar terms, and people consider both items the same. As we all know, motif and theme are very similar, so many consider both terms the same.

Motif refers to symbols of symbols, shapes, sounds, distinct colours, and organized events in a pattern or sequence. The term motif also gives significance, and symbolic value, to the theme of a play or a story.

Key Takeaways

  1. A motif is a recurring element or pattern in a work of art, while a Theme is an underlying message or meaning.
  2. A motif can be a symbol, image, or idea repeated throughout a work, while a Theme is the broad, overarching concept that ties the work together.
  3. The main difference between Motif and Theme is that a Motif is a recurring element or pattern in a work of art, while a Theme is an underlying message or meaning.

Motif vs Theme

The difference between motif and theme is that motif is considered concrete. On the other hand, the theme is considered to be abstract. The term theme considers a central idea or main idea that the writer gives through his or her literary work. It is considered a plot of the events that will make up the story. So the theme is considered to be the main event of the story.

Motif vs Theme 1

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonMotif Theme 
Meaning Motif refers to symbols, shapes, sounds, distinct colours, and story events organized in a series or sequences.The term theme refers to a central idea or the main idea the writer wants to convey through their literary work.
Explicitly The motif is explicit as it is clearly understood.The theme is not explicitly given in the text.
Difference The motif is considered to be concrete.The theme is considered to be abstract.
Aim It gives significant symbolic value to the main theme or plot of the play.It gives the central idea or main motive that the writer wants to convey in his story.
Example A repeated reference or visual of shattered glass can exemplify the motif.Examples of the theme can be death, loneliness, friendship, honour, love, etc.

What is a Motif?

The team motif is a recurring pattern in a writing workshop, which helps to gain strength in the story’s main theme. A motif can be considered symbolic or concrete, and it can also keep on supporting the story’s central idea or underlying theme.

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Motif is considered a recurring element in a literary work, meaning the image or idea appears repeatedly. It is believed that if the related image can bring the audience’s attention to an idea, it will be known as the story motif.

motif

What is a Theme?

To understand the theme, we can tell that every written piece has its purpose. The author wants to tell a reader about the idea, thought, concept, or process we call a theme.

It is considered if the brokenness comes as the story motif. We can say that author is trying to talk about love, relationship, and families, or if children break the window of a misunderstood neighbour‘s house, then it might seem that the author is trying to give the symbol about the gaps in understanding between people who do know each other very well.

theme

Main Differences Between Motif and Theme

  1. Motif refers to symbols, shapes, sounds, distinct colours, and story events organized in a series or sequences. On the other hand, theme refers to a central idea or the main idea that the writer wants to convey through their literary work.
  2. The motif is explicit as it is clearly understood. On the other hand, the theme is not explicitly given in the text.
  3. The motif is considered to be concrete, whereas the theme is considered to be abstract.
  4. It gives significant symbolic value to the main theme or plot of the play. On the other hand, This gives the central idea or main motive the writer wants to convey in his story.
  5. A repeated reference or visual of shattered glass can be an example of a motif, whereas The example of the theme can be death, loneliness, friendship, honour, love, etc.
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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27 thoughts on “Motif vs Theme: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article offers a comprehensive understanding of motifs and themes, adding depth to the analysis of literary works. It’s a valuable resource for students and enthusiasts alike.

    Reply
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      Reply
  2. The lucid explanations of motifs and themes in the article are commendable. It’s an intellectually stimulating piece that adds to the discourse on literary elements.

    Reply
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      Reply
    • I agree, the intellectually stimulating nature of the article enriches the discourse around motifs and themes, making it a valuable addition to literary studies.

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  3. This article does a great job of providing a clear, concise explanation of the differences between motif and theme. It’s very enlightening.

    Reply
  4. This article effectively dissects the differences between motif and theme, providing a wealth of knowledge for literary enthusiasts. Kudos to the author for the insightful piece.

    Reply
  5. This article provides a fascinating exploration of motifs and themes, offering compelling examples of both. It’s an excellent resource for literature enthusiasts.

    Reply
    • I appreciate the way in which the article draws connections between motifs and themes, making it an engaging read for anyone interested in literature.

      Reply
  6. The author adeptly explores the significance of motifs and themes, providing a clear understanding of their roles in literary works. An instructive piece overall.

    Reply
    • The article’s exploration of the roles of motifs and themes is indeed instructive. It offers a valuable perspective on these literary elements.

      Reply
    • Absolutely, the article serves as a valuable resource for readers, offering a comprehensive understanding of motifs and themes.

      Reply
  7. The article handles the comparison between motif and theme excellently. It’s a great guide for those seeking to understand these literary concepts.

    Reply
  8. I feel that this article provides a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. The emphasis on both the explicit and implicit nature of motifs and themes is particularly noteworthy.

    Reply
  9. The comparison table is particularly helpful in highlighting the differences between motif and theme. It adds an element of clarity to the article’s explanations.

    Reply
    • I found the comparison table to be an effective tool for understanding the contrasts between motifs and themes. It’s a well-constructed article.

      Reply
  10. The author’s articulation of the abstract nature of themes and concrete nature of motifs is quite compelling. It’s a thought-provoking read.

    Reply
    • I agree, the article encourages deep contemplation about the nature of literary elements in a way that’s engaging and insightful.

      Reply
    • I found the explanation of abstractness versus concreteness to be particularly illuminating. This article is an excellent resource.

      Reply

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