4U Formal Literary Essay

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					                    4U Formal Literary Essay

Your essay is to be a minimum of 1000 words (4 pages) and a maximum of
2000 words (8 pages). You may focus entirely on Hamlet or compare and
contrast with Oedipus.

Your evaluation will be based on a formal literary essay rubric in the four

You will need to design your own thesis and check with your teacher to
ensure that you are on the right track.


The following are a list of possible topics for you to choose from.

You will need to design your own thesis and check with your teacher to
ensure that you are on the right track.

   1. Conflict is indispensable to drama. Show that Hamlet presents both an
      outward and an inward conflict.

   2. “The hero in a Shakespearean play always contributes in some
      measure to the disaster in which he perishes”. How true is this of

   3. Hamlet’s madness is “less than madness and more than feigned”.
      Explain and discuss.

   4. Show that Shakespeare makes use in Hamlet of a) abnormal
      conditions of mind, b) the supernatural, c) chance.

   5. How do Hamlet’s seven soliloquies a) reveal character? b) create
      atmosphere? C) advance the plot?

   6. Compare Hamlet’s speeches from the beginning of the play to the end
      of the play. Select one of his speeches from Act I or II and compare its
      tone, attitude, and feeling with a speech from the last Act.

   7. What images of women are found in the play? How are Ophelia and
      Gertrude characterized?
  8. One of the highlights of Hamlet is the use of language. Single out two
     places where you find the language especially rich and complex and
     suggestive. You may choose soliloquies, dialogue exchanges, or both.

  9. What values do the plays (Hamlet, Oedipus) most seriously question?
     Most rigorously criticize? Most generously support?

  10. Compare and contrast Hamlet as a tragic hero with Oedipus. (Hint:
      they are both questioners)

  11. Explore the use of disease imagery in the natural world and discuss
      how it is used to mirror the disorder of the characters, the family and
      the political world.

  12. The central feeling in a great tragedy, according to some scholars, is a
      profound sense of waste. How is this true of the plays that we have
      read in class? (HINT: you need to explain precisely what was wasted,
      lost or sacrificed).


            A good thesis needs to be 1) specific and 2) arguable
            A good thesis has a subject and a direction.

THESIS: ______________________________________________________________



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