Steps on Writing an A Grade Hamlet Essay from Scratch

July 22, 2018 | GradeMiners
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Love, loss, betrayal, and honour are some of the themes explored in Hamlet, a tragic play by Shakespeare. The play, though centuries old, resonates with the modern society as it explores the complexities of mortality. If you are pursuing an English, Literature or Arts course, you will most likely come along some of Shakespeare’s works. To write an essay on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, you require a deep understanding of the characters, themes, and symbolism.

Also, getting a topic that shows your understanding of the play can get you a good grade on your essay. We will discuss the main steps for writing your Hamlet essay and some topic ideas you could use.

Read Hamlet Critically Before You Begin Your Essay

Before you can write about something, you must read and understand it properly. When I talk about reading here, it is not the way you would read a magazine or novel that you like; you need to find a critical reading style that suits you. That means that you will have to try a number of techniques before to see what fits you the best. A simple reading technique that I find useful for academic studying is colour coding. It is more like highlighting critical points in your study material in different colours. This method will help you keep your work organised and most importantly, help you decide on what to write about in your Hamlet essay based on the amount of evidence present. You could also take notes while reading to review later when you are writing the essay.

Decide on the Direction Your Hamlet Essay Will Take

As mentioned earlier, there are several themes in Hamlet. Plus, the characters provide plenty of background information that could be analysed in your critical analysis essay. The biggest mistake you could make is to try and discuss all these themes together. For one, your piece will be shallow and incoherent. Taking on too many topics denies you space to critically analyse your points; critical analysis is the whole point of the composition. So, once you have read the play, decide on one theme, symbol or character that you will discuss in your Hamlet essay.

Write a Well-Detailed Essay Outline

Once you have the theme in mind, it is time to put your information together. Start to create your essay outline. An outline is a draft structure of your final essay. Though an outline could be short and straightforward, I advise making it well-detailed. The more detailed it is, the less input you will make in the final writing. Writing the essay will be about connecting points and refining your outline. Here is the general structure of an essay outline:


Your introduction should be captivating while providing insight into the focus of your Hamlet essay to the reader. So, start with a hook sentence. A hook sentence is the first sentence of your introduction that pulls the reader to your composition. The following sentences should give a brief description of the play Hamlet and the theme you will be discussing. Finally, end with your thesis statement. Ensure the reader knows what your Hamlet essay is going to talk about from reading the thesis alone. You can make it clear and concise in two or three sentences long. Write your thesis during the outline writing stage. However, you can always tweak and refine your argument when you begin writing your final essay.


The body takes up much of the work in the making of the essay. The length and number of paragraphs in your body should depend on the number of points you wish to analyse. However, take into consideration the instructions for the assignment. Develop your ideas connecting one point to the next. What is critical here is to offer evidence to your claim. For example, if you are discussing the meaning of the ghost’s appearance in the play, you must state instances where Hamlet meets and talks with his father’s ghost.


Conclude by restating your thesis claim and what your analysis says about the thesis statement. Avoid repetition and redundancy in your conclusion.

Great Topic Ideas for an Essay on Hamlet

  • Hamlet’s Relationship with Ophelia

There is a lot you could discuss on Hamlet’s affection or lack thereof towards Ophelia. At the end of the play, it is debatable whether Hamlet loved Ophelia or not. Though he is seen to avoid her, he is gravely affected by her death. This topic would make a great argumentative essay.

  • The Theme of Revenge in Hamlet

First of all, there are plenty of revenge plots in Hamlet. The story is also tragic, with several people dying along the way. The main character, Hamlet, is driven by a desire for revenge, which may partly explain his madness.

  • Hamlet’s Insanity

You could tell why you think Hamlet states that his madness is also his biggest enemy. Hamlet’s madness is widely explored in the play. He even pretends to be mad to further his plans.

  • The Effect of the Setting on the Development of the Play

You could examine how Denmark, in which Hamlet is set, affects the plot. How does it affect the audience? Is it political?

  • Hamlet’s Recognition as a National Hero

Does Hamlet deserve to be recognised as a hero after his death?

Why You Should Hire Professional Help

Shakespeare’s stories are not the easiest to analyse. If you are still wondering what theme or character to explore, it is okay to seek professional assistance. At GradeMiners, you will find experienced writers who can put together a quality custom essay on any of Shakespeare’s work including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. Make your order today.

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