What are some good topics for an argumentative research essay on Hamlet?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In writing an argumentative essay over Hamlet, you will want to frame a thesis statement that you can explain and support with evidence from the play--facts, examples, incidents, and specific passages. Also, your thesis should be one that another writer might dispute, thus making it subject to argument. Here are some suggestions you might consider for your essay:

  • Although Hamlet's beliefs in sin and morality run deep, eventually even he is overcome by evil. (You could argue that Hamlet experiences moral disintegration, becoming crafty and deceitful and eventually murdering in cold blood.)
  • Ophelia and Gertrude are supposedly loved by the men in their lives, but they are not; in fact, they are betrayed by them. (You could argue that Hamlet and Claudius both lie to Gertrude to serve their own purposes and that Hamlet and Polonius both treat Ophelia without respect or regard for her feelings.)
  • Although Hamlet and Claudius seem to represent different kinds of men, they are very much alike. (You could argue that Hamlet and Claudius are both self-absorbed, deceitful, relentless in the pursuit of their objectives, and murderous.)

The eNotes links below will take you to some excellent resources in studying Hamlet. Good luck with your essay!

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