How to analyze an author and his or her work in literature? Example: Shakespeare and his work "Hamlet".  I would like to write an easay about literature, involving an analysis of an author and...

How to analyze an author and his or her work in literature? Example: Shakespeare and his work "Hamlet".

 

I would like to write an easay about literature, involving an analysis of an author and his/ her work.

 

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, it is important to be familiar with the author and his/her place in history/literary movements.  So, you will wnat to read about this author and the themes that recur with his/her writings as well as his/her beliefs and perspectives about life.  For example, the Romantics all have certain beliefs that are exemplified in their works such as the importance of intuition over reason, they champion individual freedom, and they value poetry above all other works of the imagination, etc.  In this way, you have an idea of what to look for in the literary work under analysis.

Since an essay is around 500-600 words, you must limit your topic.  With the play "Hamlet," for instance, you may wish to analyze the themes of each of Hamlet's soliloquies, explaining how they are demonstrative of Hamlet increasing melancholic, a state which causes his indecision and inaction.  Include an explanation of the external circumstances of each soliloquy, what prompts the writing of the soliloquy, and what is the topic of the poem. 

Your essay will be argumentative as you wish to make a point about that essay and prove it. See the sites below for some help.  Good luck!