Hamlet Essay Examples and Topics

by William Shakespeare

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview

Best topics on Hamlet

Welcome to the list of college students that have faced the challenges of writing an essay on Hamlet! While we know quite a lot about the timeless tragic play by ... William Shakespeare, writing something unique is not that easy. Start with the subjects that are being brought up here like madness, the relation between life and death, revenge, fearing for one's life, and trust. See our free essay on Hamlet examples as well as it will help you remember the main idea in a much deeper way and focus on something that rocks your boat. If you are stuck with ideas, these free samples will help you see why this play is so famous even if you choose to skip the major subject, which is death here.

Between 1599 and 1601


William Shakespeare





Major Characters

Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Laertas, Horatio

Based On

Saxo Grammaticus, a chronicler from the 13th century, preserved the legend of Amleth. Shakespeare derived his story from that legend.


Existentialism, skepticism, relative truth


Many critics single out Hamlet as the most influential and powerful piece of literature. It’s the second most filmed story of all time (after Cinderella).


The play opens with Hamlet mourning his father, the King of Denmark. His father’s ghost tells Hamlet to kill his uncle, the new king, for revenge. Throughout the plot, Hamlet contemplates different philosophical issues, such as life and death, as well as madness. The King of Denmark predicts Hamlet's intentions and wants to kill him to prevent his own death. Hamlet, the King, Hamlet's opponent and the Queen are all killed during a duel at the end of the play.

Why Is This Topic Important?

Shakespeare explored an unusual form in this play - the soliloquy. The main character stands alone on the stage, opening his mind and talking to himself. This approach is physiologically complex, and it’s an excellent base for research, debate, and writing.

Main Ideas

Revenge is the play’s main theme, but ideas of appearance and reality, politics, religion, and corruption are also explored.

Key Quotes
  • “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
  • “Conscience doth make cowards of us all.”
  • “What piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
Interesting Facts

Hamlet was the author’s most popular play during his lifetime. The character’s hesitation to kill has inspired a debate among philosophers and psychologists. Some see it as the author’s attempt to prolong the plot and add suspense, but others see it as a complex ethical issue.

Why Should This Topic Be Used?

Hamlet is a great play for introducing students to irony, metaphors, similes, and other stylistic forms. It’s a complex read that can be debated from different angles.

Arguments For

This is one of the most profound meditations on human nature and existence in literature. It explores concepts that are always current: honor, revenge, desire, justice, mortality, and more.

Arguments Against

The language in the play may be difficult and boring for today’s readers.

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