Here is a list of suggested topics for essay writing:
- In what way can Prince Hamlet be called a typical Renaissance man?
- Compare the cultural and scientific ideals of the Renaissance and / or the Enlightenment to our modern day ideals. Discuss contrasts and similarities.
- Hamlet is brimming with gory details and supernatural elements. What role do such elements have in today's film and literature?
- Compare Gulliver's Travels to Robinson Crusoe and discuss their different approach to adventure and discovery.
- Robinson Crusoe – a typical Enlightenment man.
- Why are travel accounts and diaries such a popular genre?
- 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"?
- Discuss some of the morally debatable issues raised in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Does this have relevance today?
- What is implied in the full title: Frankenstein or A Modern Prometevs?
- Can we say that the romantic ideals are still alive today?
- How can we say that Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is a complex and disturbed character, but still with simple and recognisable human traits?
- Write your own Gothic horror story.
- Write an analysis of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde where you focus on different thematic interpretations.
- Read the short story "Lispeth" by Rudyard Kipling, and discuss its relevance to the British Empire.
- 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.
- Dickens often used child protagonists in his books; discuss the effect of that.
- Write a text where you present how the English class system took form during the Victorian Age.
- Read the poem "Richard Cory" by E A Robinson and discuss its relevance to American ideals such as the American Dream.
- Compare the two Kate Chopin stories "Desiree's Baby" and "The Story of an Hour."
- Discuss the two slogans "At Heaven's Command" and "Manifest Destiny".
- Read the short story "The Drover's Wife" and discuss why that story has become a national iconic story of Australia.
- 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.
- Discuss the statement: Modernism is really not modern at all.
- Read "Eveline" by James Joyce. Give a characterisation of the main character and explain why she chooses as she does.
- Discuss how "Popular Mechanics" by Raymond Carver deals with divorce as a theme.
- Why do you think the modernists were so disillusioned and pessimistic?
- Why does a film adaption of a good novel often come out as lacking and disappointing compared to the book?
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