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Suggested Topics for Essay Writing

Published: 19.06.2013, Updated: 05.03.2017
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  1. In what way can Prince Hamlet be called a typical Renaissance man?
  2. Compare the cultural and scientific ideals of the Renaissance and / or the Enlightenment to our modern day ideals. Discuss contrasts and similarities.
  3. Hamlet is brimming with gory details and supernatural elements. What role do such elements have in today's film and literature?
  4. Compare Gulliver's Travels to Robinson Crusoe and discuss their different approach to adventure and discovery.
  5. Robinson Crusoe – a typical Enlightenment man.
  6. Why are travel accounts and diaries such a popular genre?
  7. One of the most important ideals of the Romantic era was to stand up for one's freedom, personal as well as political freedom. Do we have literature and / or films today that inspire to "fight for your right"?
  8. Discuss some of the morally debatable issues raised in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Does this have relevance today?
  9. What is implied in the full title: Frankenstein or A Modern Prometevs?
  10. Can we say that the romantic ideals are still alive today?
  11. How can we say that Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is a complex and disturbed character, but still with simple and recognisable human traits?
  12. Write your own Gothic horror story.
  13. Write an analysis of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde where you focus on different thematic interpretations.
  14. Read the short story "Lispeth" by Rudyard Kipling, and discuss its relevance to the British Empire.
  15. One of Dickens' usual literary devices was humour. Find examples in Oliver Twist and / or Hard Times and discuss the effect of such a device.
  16. Dickens often used child protagonists in his books; discuss the effect of that.
  17. Write a text where you present how the English class system took form during the Victorian Age.
  18. Read the poem "Richard Cory" by E A Robinson and discuss its relevance to American ideals such as the American Dream.
  19. Compare the two Kate Chopin stories "Desiree's Baby" and "The Story of an Hour."
  20. Discuss the two slogans "At Heaven's Command" and "Manifest Destiny".
  21. Read the short story "The Drover's Wife" and discuss why that story has become a national iconic story of Australia.
  22. Read the short story "How the Garden Grows" by W B Jenkins and write an article where you discuss the pros and cons of surrogacy.
  23. Discuss the statement: Modernism is really not modern at all.
  24. Read "Eveline" by James Joyce. Give a characterisation of the main character and explain why she chooses as she does.
  25. Discuss how "Popular Mechanics" by Raymond Carver deals with divorce as a theme.
  26. Why do you think the modernists were so disillusioned and pessimistic?
  27. Why does a film adaption of a good novel often come out as lacking and disappointing compared to the book?