hamlet extended scholarly essay

An extended scholarly essay.

In this paper, students will demonstrate knowledge of how to find, use, and properly cite (according to MLA style format) an appropriate number of scholarly books and articles to support their argument or thesis (at least 6 I would think, but it depends entirely on the topic). Students are encouraged, as much as possible, to formulate an original thesis representing their own perspective or point of view, but substantiated with evidence from the text and from secondary sources. A literature review–an objective summary of how other scholars have approached the subject or topic, can comprise part of the paper.

This paper should be 10 pages with a Works Cited page, but I will accept fewer pages (8) if the topic is original and exceedingly narrow.

While it’s not all that original, but you could compare and contrast Milton’s L’Allegro/Il Penseroso, or discuss (might challenging but totally original) what I have mentioned in class a few times, the Christian contemptus mundi tradition (see attached) in Augustine, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Hamlet, Il Penseroso and Paradise Lost. It’s perhaps a stretch, but I might write a paper on that myself! You can write about Melancholy in Hamlet and in Milton’s Il Penseroso.

example topics

Is Hamlet really a procrastinator? And is this meant to be understood as a character flaw?


Who/what is the Ghost? Tell me what you think and why, and moreover, how this influences or informs your understanding of the play. So who or what is the ghost of Hamlet’s father?

Melancholia and Insanity

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