Once you've done some initial background reading and analysis, it's time to narrow down your topic to what you want to write about - what is your thesis going to be and what supporting points do you want to cover in your body paragraphs? Remember your assignment requirements and consider what you've read thus far.
Depending on which topic you've chosen, ask yourself:
Which hero or minor character am I going to focus on?
How do they match or not match the definition of Confucius/Machiavelli?
As you start to narrow this down into a thesis, you'll want to continue to look for more sources. As you read, you might tweak or adjust your topic/thesis. In order to help you find more related sources about your topic, you'll want to identify keywords to help you search.