Certain individuals hold the view that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not an appropriate topic for the research paper assignment for the ENGL 1302 class. However, this is fallacious for a number of different reasons. It is a suitable choice for this assignment, as it is just as relevant today as it was at the time that it was written and is extremely interesting to study. Hamlet should continue to be used as the subject of this assignment.
The argument has been made that the fact that Hamlet was written in Shakespearian English means that students of today cannot relate to it. However, irrespective of the language that was utilized throughout the text, it still made points about human nature that are timeless, for example the fact that revenge involves a substantial emotional effort and the notion that people are subject to an inner tug of war between reason and emotion (Shakespeare). The English that Shakespeare used is different from modern day English but still not indecipherable, meaning that it does not detract from the important messages that this play puts across. Utilizing it as the basis for the research paper assignment provides an opportunity to examine these messages in detail.
The fact that the text was written in an earlier form of English actually makes it more worthy of studying, as it means that it provides a basis for learning the way in which language has developed as time has gone by. Although it might be off putting to some students, it might also be intriguing to those who possess an interest in linguistics. The use of Shakespearian English is something that students might wish to explore as part of the research paper.
It is arguable that the fact that Hamlet is a well-known text makes it too obvious a choice to write a research paper about. However, just because Hamlet is a famous play it does not necessarily mean that all students will be familiar with it. It is well-known on account of its literary significance, which makes it even more worthy of studying in depth. It means that it should not be neglected and should be analyzed in as much detail as possible so that students are familiar with every aspect of this seminal work.
Hamlet was an extremely influential play that has shaped the course of drama and literature throughout the years. Therefore, failing to pay it the attention that it deserves could be argued to deprive students of the necessary levels of knowledge about a text that has paved the way for a significant amount of the other important plays that have followed it. Writing a research assignment about this play provides an opportunity to take advantage of the wide range of information that is available about this text and utilize it in order to increase the extent to which later texts can be understood.
In addition to these points, the pleasure that can be derived from researching Hamlet is reason alone to use it as the topic for the research paper assignment. It is an enjoyable play to read and study, on account of the many twists and turns that exist within the plot and the complex, well-developed characters. Writing a research paper about it could increase students’ enjoyment of literature. It could inspire them to read other Shakespearian plays and act as a catalyst for a long and fulfilling relationship with classical texts.
In conclusion, Hamlet is an appropriate text to be used as the topic for the research paper assignment in the ENGL 1302 class due to a number of different reasons. It incorporates messages about human nature that are just as relevant today as they were at the time when it was written, it provides an insight into the way in which the English language has developed throughout the years, and it has a large amount of literary significance. It has also influenced numerous different plays that have come after it, meaning that studying it is likely to boost students’ knowledge of literature in general. Above all, it is an interesting text that is both fascinating and pleasurable to study.
- Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ware, UK: Wordsworth Editions, 1992. Print.