Excellent Literary Essay Topics For Hamlet


Very few native English speaking students will get through their education without needing to write an essay relating to at least one of Shakespeare’s plays. For example, you may need to write about Hamlet as part of an English course that you are studying. If this is the case, then you may be wondering what kind of literary essay topics you can discuss as part of your work.

As one of the most important works written by “The Bard”, you have a wide range of different approaches when it comes to selecting a title for your work. You may wish to analyze and discuss one or more of the characters in the play, or you may wish to focus on various themes that can be identified within the work. In order to choose a suitable topic, you might find it useful to research ideas that other people have written about in the past. For example, the list below contains 10 ideas relating to various aspects of the literature, and will hopefully give you some inspiration when it comes to choosing a suitable and exciting topic of your own to write about.


  1. Compare and contrast the way in which Hamlet’s character is betrayed in the first act compared to the final
  2. Describe Hamlet’s struggles with his religion and what decisions he ultimately makes and how they bear upon his conscience
  3. How is the theme of existentialism used within the play, particularly in relation to the main character
  4. What aspects of the play make it so appealing for psychoanalysts to try to decipher various themes and ideas discussed within the work?
  5. What can we learn about the gender system of the time based on the way that female characters are portrayed?
  6. What does the quote “to be or not to be” mean and why is it one of the most noted quotes from Shakespeare’s works, as well as literature as a whole?
  7. Why do you think Hamlet hesitated in his actions surrounding the murder of his uncle?
  8. Considering how frequently 21st century audiences see killings in films, TV shows and literature, how important is it to see an individual struggle with the cold-blooded nature of murder within Shakespeare’s work?
  9. Discuss the themes of revenge and deception as used in Hamlet
  10. Which of Shakespeare’s other plays are most like Hamlet?