“To be, or not to be” a good writer in the late 16th century was never on Shakespeare’s mind, but developing new Hamlet essay ideas is an especially challenging endeavor for many students today. After all, when the Bard penned Hamlet, it is reasonable to suggest that he never envisioned the millions of essays that high school and college students would be required to write about the Prince and his cast of characters over the next 500 years. Part of the problem in understanding Shakespeare’s Hamlet, of course, is that his work does not easily translate into modern social and political terms. Despite these constraints, it is possible to readily identify some main characters and themes in the play that can be used as the focus of an original and interesting essay today.
For example, some Hamlet essay ideas include writing about the theme of insanity in the play and how Hamlet initially uses this seeming subterfuge to his advantage only to succumb to madness by play’s end — or does he? This essay topic in particular can be explored in a number of ways. Likewise, another good Hamlet essay idea is to focus on the female characters Ophelia and Gertrude in the play. You can select just one character such as the significance of Ophelia to Hamlet or Gertrude’s relationship with Hamlet. Likewise, you could examine how both of these female characters affect the play’s action and outcome.
In addition, other ideas for a Hamlet essay include a discussion of Hamlet’s seven soliloquies and how these can provide fresh insights into his character or a comparative analysis of Hamlet with Laertes, Fortinbras and Horatio to identity significant commonalities and differences. Finally, a good idea for a Hamlet essay would focus on how suicide is used and its moral and religious implications then and now.