Topic 4

English 102
Spring 2020

Essay #4 - Shakespeare

Instructions: Read the following topics carefully and choose one. Write a 5-7 page, typed, double-spaced essay that includes an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs with supporting quotations, and a conclusion. Format your paper according to the MLA standards outlined in class. NOTE: Please include a “Works Cited” page with this paper, or I will return the paper to you without a grade.

1. Choose any one scene or soliloquy and write a clear explication of it, focusing, of course, on passages that you then can tie to the broader themes of the play.

2. Here's a challenging one: discuss art in Hamlet. How does Hamlet use drama to address his problems?

3. Take one of the minor characters in the play (Gertrude, Fortinbras, Horatio, Claudius, Polonius) and write a detailed study of this player. What role does the character play in the larger themes of the work? Your goal is to write an essay that will answer any reader's questions about that character.  

4. Discuss the play as a tragedy, with attention to the issue of "order" that we have discussed in some detail in class. In what ways is Hamlet a "typical" tragedy, and in what ways does it differ from the classical form? Feel free to see me if you want supporting materials to define your terms.

5. Using the college’s database, find a recent article on Hamlet from an academic journal. Write an essay that analyzes a point made in this journal, assessing that point by looking at Shakespeare’s text for support.

6.  Devise your own thesis. Please submit a working version of it to me before drafting.

This essay is due May 6.