Topics for Hamlet Essay

Task:  You will be writing a formal literary essay that is approximately 2-4 pages (typed and double-spaced).  The purpose of a literary essay is to examine and evaluate a piece of literature to demonstrate your understanding of the text and to make a unique and interesting argument.
Requirements:  Include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.  Use one of the formats we reviewed in class.
Essay Question:  Throughout this unit, we have focused much of our discussion on the key topics/themes that Hamlet  addresses.  For this essay, you will choose ONE topic that is highlighted in the play and create a thesis arguing what the play’s stance is on your chosen topic.
Topics for Hamlet Essay
 

  • Betrayal
  • Deception
  • Gender roles
  • Supernatural
  • Religion
  • Oppression
  • Madness
  • Guilt
  • corruption/decay
  • Procrastination (Action versus inaction)
  • death/afterlife
  • Fate/destiny
  • faith/loyalty/trust
  • Love
  • Power
  • mother/son relationships
  • father/son relationships
  • Ambition
  • Appearance versus reality (play of questions)
  • manipulation

 
 
 
ENG 4U0: Literary Hamlet Essay
 
 
Task:  You will be writing a formal literary essay that is approximately 2-4 pages (typed and double-spaced).  The purpose of a literary essay is to examine and evaluate a piece of literature to demonstrate your understanding of the text and to make a unique and interesting argument.
 
Requirements:  Include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph.  Use one of the formats we reviewed in class.
 
Essay Question:  Throughout this unit, we have focused much of our discussion on the key topics/themes that Hamlet  addresses.  For this essay, you will choose ONE topic that is highlighted in the play and create a thesis arguing what the play’s stance is on your chosen topic. 
 
Note:  You must create an argument about your topic (this is a thesis).  Simply arguing that the topic exists in the play is not acceptable and will not result in a passing grade.  Instead, consider what the play’s argument ABOUT the topic is.
 
(Not acceptable) Betrayal is an important topic in Hamlet
(Not acceptable) Betrayal is a major topic that exists in Hamlet.
 
Instead, you need to figure out what the play’s argument is ABOUT your topic.  This will become your thesis and you will prove it by analyzing key events, characters or images in the play.
 
 

Things to remember…

  • Write in the present tense.
  • Avoid contractions (cannot instead of can’t).
  • Avoid using obvious language (e.g. “this quote proves/show).
  • Provide enough background information to make your quotations clear, but avoid plot summary (effective lead-ins).
  • Include the playwright’s name and play title in the introductory paragraph
  • EDIT! Avoid comma splices, run-on sentences, spelling errors, sla

 
 
To Submit:

  • A typed double spaced good copy
  • A proper works cited page
  • An edited rough draft
  • An electronic copy for turnitin.com

 
 
 
Hamlet Literary Essay Evaluation                                    Name:_____________________________________________                                                  
 
Knowledge and Understanding:                                                                                            
        

  • Excellent understanding of text – character motivation, plot events, theme, etc.
  • Excellent use of supporting details (quotations, examples )to prove arguments.

 
R       1-       1       1+       2-      2       2+       3-       3       3+       4-       4       4+       4++
 
Thinking:                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • A thoughtful and unique thesis is provided (debatable, answers, “so, what?)
  • Analysis is insightful and original observations and conclusions are made. Analysis proves the thesis/argument.

 
R       1-       1       1+       2-      2       2+       3-       3       3+       4-       4       4+       4++
 
Communication:                                                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Written in literary present tense, 3rd person, effective transition words used.
  • Language and style are suitably formal, academic, clear and engaging.
  • Essay contains very few or no spelling and grammar errors (does not detract from meaning/understanding).

 
R       1-       1       1+       2-      2       2+       3-       3       3+       4-       4       4+       4++
 
Application:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Integrates quotations and examples smoothly and correctly into the body of the paragraph.
  • Is able to effectively apply the structure of a literary essay to his/her writing (Proper introductory paragraph: general opening, play title and playwright listed, and a proper thesis. Proper structure of body paragraphs: topic sentence with clear argument, example/proof, analysis, concluding sentence).
  • Effectively uses the writing process (brainstorming notes, edited rough draft, etc).

 
R       1-       1       1+       2-      2       2+       3-       3       3+       4-       4       4+       4++
 
Comments:___________________________________________________________________________________________
 
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