What should I write in my introduction of a comparative essay for Antigone and Hamlet, and what is the best title for my research paper?I want to compare these characters: Antigone and Hamlet....

What should I write in my introduction of a comparative essay for Antigone and Hamlet, and what is the best title for my research paper?

I want to compare these characters: Antigone and Hamlet. Please help me and give me a sample introduction.

1- I want to look at their Differences (e.g. Antigone is Strong –Decisive, but Hamlet is Weak –Indecisive) and Similarities (Loss of the family- Both had uncles- Failure in the family- Deaths of several people). my format is APA and i have to write 15 pages. is it necessary to write a table of content?

Thank you very much

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The introduction might have to be the last part written.  I am not sure anyone can construct a meaningful introduction without fully understanding and incorporating and aspects of the overall paper in it.  This would mean that much of your paper should already be sketched out even before you compose the introduction.  I do think that some general information should be present in your introduction.  The first would be introducing both works to a certain extent, discussing their influence, and also engaging in the idea that both central characters are rather dominant forces in literature.  I think that the next element that has to be present would be your thesis statement, meaning what you are going to prove in the course of your paper.  I think that you will need to fully examine what you have, what you are going to write in specific terms, and what the thesis statement of the paper is going to be and then you can compose a worthwhile and relevant introduction.  The title of the paper can also come at this stage when you know what it is you have.  I don't know whether you will be able to get a sample introduction in this forum, but I believe that you might be able to get feedback on what you have when you are able to determine what you are going to compose in your introduction after you take stock of what it is you have in the body of your writing.

kostaglatov | Student


This sounds like a fascinating topic for a paper, and you are already  off to a good start because you know in which direction you wish go.  You are absolutely correct in your distinction between the two characters as one of decisiveness and . indecisivness. You may also consider that Anitgone is s character of action while the opposite is true of Hamlet.  There is an essay by Tergenev entitled, "ON HAMLET AND DON QUIXOTE" ,  which you may find helpful.  The most interesting similarity for me however, in the two characters lies in what may be considered the psychological motive operating within each one them.  This is certainly true of Hamlet , though perhaps to a somewhat  lesser degree in Antigone.

When Antigone returns to cover the body of Polyneices, it has nothing to do with performing a religious rite. That  obligation has already been satisfied.  Though she may not be conscious of it,  Antigone has become obsessed with martredom  and she knows the consequences of her action  and the sureness  of her fate.  This is part of the reason why she may not be a tragic figure.  The unconscious motive operating in the character of Hamlet is more apparent.  Time and time again  Hamlet fails to follow through when he has both motive and opportunity to exact the revenge   which he thinks he so fervently desires.  The only logical explanation for his action or perhaps inaction is the correct word, is that there are unconscious feelings operating within Hamlet,  feelings too  disturbing and painful to acknowledge, and which he would be forced to confront if he killed his uncle.  So I think we can see, that there exists a similarity in the characters of Antigone and Hamlet, in that an unconscious motive exists in each of them which is responsible at least in part , for their action.  As Akannan says, the title will depend on the content of your paper.  But if you address some of the issues I have mentioned, something like, "THE UNCONSCIOUS MOTIVE IN ANTIGONE AND HAMLET", may serve. 

Good Luck!