50 Awesome Shakespeare Essay Topics You Should Consider for Your Literature Class

Posted on May 14, 2019

William Shakespeare is the most frequently discussed author in English Literature classes. By assigning the Shakespeare essay, teachers assess students' knowledge of his most distinguished works, as well as their overall ability to analyze literary pieces. Why is it so important? Because knowing Shakespeare's best stories and citing his most famous lines is the mark of how enlightened a person really is.

There are many types of academic essays, but if you stick with an essay on Shakespeare it will probably fall in one of the below categories:

  • Descriptive essay (pick a particular idea and introduce it to the audience).
  • Expository essay (shed light on a problem with the help of proven facts).
  • Persuasive essay (take a position and try to justify it by citing evidence).

Picking Shakespeare essay topics is always challenging, which is why we decided to spare you the trouble and prepared a list of the top William Shakespeare essay topics.

Best Shakespeare Argumentative Essay Topics

  1. The topic of revenge & love: Does Hamlet reveal his feelings for Ophelia because of the desire for revenge?
  2. Discuss how real the ghost in Hamlet is.
  3. Sexual problems in William Shakespeare's works.
  4. The difference between historical events and the way Shakespeare interprets them.
  5. How convincing is the presence of the ghost in Hamlet?
  6. Polonius's judgment: wrong or right perception?
  7. What do Shakespeare's characters use for achieving political goals?
  8. Does Hamlet deserve to die at the end?
  9. Analysis of films based on Shakespeare's poems.

Topics for Shakespeare Plays

  1. The role of emotions & social status in Shakespeare's works.
  2. Analysis of Comedy of Errors.
  3. William Shakespeare as a playwright.
  4. What are the similarities between Hamlet and Moby-Dick?
  5. Melodrama - the primary genre of Shakespeare's plays.
  6. The most important feature of Shakespeare's plays (tragedy).
  7. The role of women in Othello.
  8. The influence of political events on the author.
  9. How Shakespeare brought about a revolution in literature.
  10. The most successful movies based on Shakespeare's famous plays.

Excellent Shakespeare Sonnets Essay Topics

  1. Choose The Dark Lady and argue the way she would be represented in the real world.
  2. The conflict between platonic love & carnal desire.
  3. Homoerotic desire in Shakespeare's sonnets.
  4. How should the sonnets be divided?
  5. Provide a couple of examples where Shakespeare criticizes himself for his inadequacies.
  6. The meaning of the black color in Shakespeare's sonnets.
  7. The images used by Shakespeare in his sonnets.
  8. In-depth analysis of sonnets 153-154.
  9. Methods used to characterize women's identity.
  10. The financial imagery in Shakespeare's sonnets.

Shakespeare Essay Topics - Female Characters

  1. The characters who dress up as boys (example: Viola).
  2. Ladies with the power to do whatever they want (Cleopatra).
  3. Unassuming female characters who act for the sake of love.
  4. Shakespeare's common representation of women.
  5. The topic of sexism in Taming of the Shrew.
  6. Temptation in Macbeth.
  7. A feminist perspective on Shakespeare's famous works.
  8. The way Shakespeare depicts the relationships between men and women.
  9. Modern reaction to Shakespeare's representation of women.
  10. Describing female characters in Othello.

Stunning Essay Topics about Shakespeare

  1. Characters in Henry V.
  2. The issue of racism in Othello.
  3. The role of supernatural phenomena in Macbeth.
  4. What was Cassius' motivation?
  5. What was the central role of the Fool in King Lear?
  6. How do 7 soliloquies represent Hamlet?
  7. Analysis of Othello's Desdemona.
  8. Racism in the art of Shakespeare.
  9. Characterizing King Duncan.
  10. Hermione from The Winter's Tale.

Which Format to Choose?

Once you are done selecting among the Shakespeare essay topics, think about the appropriate format for your essay. Go with the standard 5-paragraph essay, which usually comprises the following parts: an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and conclusion. Make sure to include background orientation to the topic, and thesis in the introduction; provide arguments in support of the thesis statement (main idea of the writing) in the body paragraphs; summarize the body paragraphs and restate the thesis in the conclusion. The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader so that you can do that with the help of a hook sentence of your choice:

  • Literary quote.
  • Metaphor.
  • Allegory.
  • Simile.
  • Rhetorical question.

It's also a good idea to finish your essay with an interesting fact from the author's life or a quote from his work proving your point.

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