Hamlet's Madness Essay Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

'Hamlet' is a play with so many different important themes that students can focus on. This lesson offers ideas for essays students can write about madness in reference to the play.

Why Write About Hamlet's Madness

Have your students just finished reading Shakespeare's Hamlet? If so, you might be looking for ways they can express and deepen their understanding of some of the most crucial themes in the play. Writing essays is one great way for students to show what they understand, practice backing up their theories with specific evidence from the text, and gain more facility with the process of writing about literature.

This lesson offers some essay questions and topics that will help students focus specifically on the theme of madness in Hamlet. Madness is likely to be a new and fascinating theme to your students, as well as a potentially controversial one. Therefore, it can really be helpful to give students the opportunity to write about madness in the play independently, developing and honing their perspectives.

When students write about madness in Hamlet, have the following expectations:

  • All theories should be backed up with explicit evidence from the play, in the form of direct quotes whenever possible.
  • Students should define their terms clearly so that readers understand how they are working with ideas like 'madness.'
  • The basic elements of the writing process and conventions should be adhered to carefully in the essay.
  • Outside works should be properly cited whenever possible.

Essay Questions About Hamlet's Madness

This section offers a series of questions designed to help students think deeply about madness in the context of Hamlet.

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