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How Shakespeare portrayed the inner lives of the characters in Hamlet

This essay will examine the way in which Shakespeare has portrayed the inner lives of the characters within Hamlet. This essay will primarily examine the characters of Hamlet and Claudius and discuss how their soliloquys and speech give insight into their individual thought process. This essay will discuss the characters from a psychoanalytic approach and … Read more

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare; As any she belied with false compare… Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 was firstly published in 1609 and while many consider his 154 known sonnets to be written in a sequence, Barber claims that these were “not, in fact, such a production, indeed not one production at … Read more

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine paints a poignant portrayal of the oppressive forces our society continues to suffer under, such as colonialism, patriarchy, homophobia, and the antiquated power dynamics of the traditional family, delving deeply to question the roles that society asks everyone to assume and fit into. The first act presents a commentary on the … Read more

Der Kleine Herr Friedemann

Der Kleine Herr Friedemann tells of the tragic, yet pitiful suicide of an impotent man, who suffers with a disability that has prevented his personal romantic desires. On the surface, Herr Friedemann, as the name suggests, is ‘at peace’ with himself, however this is merely a form of Ibsen’s ‘Lebenslüge’; he is constantly at odds … Read more

Black Boy: The Maltreatment of a Young Child Negatively Affects his Worldview

The rare combination of imagination and self-determination are two very powerful forces that can empower the individual to transcend a lived experience mired in racial oppression and poverty. Although for some, the emotional suffering from constant subjection to the effects of hunger and inhumane treatment makes it nearly impossible to see the world objectively and … Read more

The Marxist Lens

Thesis: In the novel Candide, Voltaire uses the struggles of the protagonist, Candide, to demonstrate the effects of the rigid class structure during this era, while also showing the consequences these strict standards can cause. Annotated Bibliography Berg-Pan, R. World Literature Today, vol. 51, no. 1, 1977, pp. 170–170. JSTOR, The theory of Marxism, … Read more

Lispector’s ‘Hour of the Star’ (1977) and Porter’s ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’ (1939)

In Lispector’s ‘Hour of the Star’ (1977) and Porter’s ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’ (1939) the psychological effect of modernity is portrayed in a variety of similar and contrasting ways. Through a plethora of literary techniques both authors highlight how their respective protagonists are affected by the process of modernity. This can be seen most prevalently … Read more

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Both the Northern and Southern states have always had sectional differences throughout their history. This began back in the colonial time period where the Northern economy differed greatly with the economy of the South. The North generally dealt with commerce and some farming whereas the South was generally plantations that made their money through cash … Read more

Sophocles’ Oedipus the King

Sophocles uses the arrogance of the tragic hero archetype to inform the audience the significance of cultural morals. Oedipus and Creon are arrogance, the quality of exaggerated self pride. Their city, Thebes, is an extremely religious city. Greek religion plays a major role in their culture. Prophets are a significant aspect to keeping the gods … Read more

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Fundamental to Nabokov’s Lolita is the persuasive and empathetic – yet undeniably shocking and monstrous – narration of Humbert Humbert. As an autodiegetic narrator, Humbert’s narration presents himself as the heroic protagonist who takes ownership of Lolita’s tragic story, and in using him as a character focaliser, Nabokov prevents the reader from perceiving any other … Read more

The Rites of Passage by Arnold van Gennep

The Rites of Passage by Arnold van Gennep, is a book describing the rituals that people endure when they cross boundaries of time or social status. Rites of passage typically describe something that is done that marks a sacred transformation. These rituals are usually physical rituals, but can also be philosophical rituals as well. Van … Read more

Romanticism in A Christmas Carol and Wuthering Heights

In both novels, A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens and Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte, the authors generate powerful scenarios for the reader to understand the influence romanticism has on individuals. Charles Dickens does this by taking his character through a journey that involves going through the past, present and future and suggests … Read more

Was childhood invented? (Philippe Ariès)

Experts lament the loss of childhood—the pressures placed upon the young right from birth, technology’s snuffing out of imagination and play—but childhood, it turns out, has far more recently been found. Perhaps, even, invented. It all began with the 1960 release of Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life by French historian Philippe … Read more

Perception of Children in Victorian England: Great Expectations / The Chimney Sweeper

Life for children in Victorian Era was very different than childhood in today’s world. Especially life for young children was very cruel. The texts, Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, and “The Chimney Sweeper”, by William Blake, deal with the idea of how children were perceived in Victorian Era. Stage one of the book, Great Expectations, … Read more

Novels: reinforcing accepted morality and later, challenging it

DRAFT Aestheticism as a philosophy has not dominated English literature or our critical understanding of it. Literature has long served as a vessel for discussing accepted morality and social norms, protesting injustice, and inviting readers to consider or rethink contemporary issues. This became especially apparent in Renaissance and Augustan literature, where prose satires such as … Read more

How to write a Literature Essay

When writing a literature essay, it is crucial to keep in mind the importance of the readability of your essay. Throughout the essay, ensure that the essay is not a regurgitation of other writers’ ideas, research notes or facts. This is important because people will not find your essay interesting to read if you would not read it yourself.

The following sections offer fundamental guidelines on how to write an literature essay.

Plan it out

Planning is an important point, which you need to keep in mind before you even start to write your essay. It is important that before starting to write your literature essay, you identify your audience. Planning for your essay requires that you identify a goal or the major points to discuss in your essay. Before starting the essay, ensure that you write all the key points or ideas you intend to discuss in your essay. Visualize how you want your essay to be, and develop an outline of all the paragraphs. Identify the argument of the essay and position.

It is important to have an idea of where you want to take the reader in terms of the impacts you seek to have on the audience after reading the  literature essay. These are among the various important aspects that you need to keep in mind when writing a literature essay. These suggestions when followed are helpful in writing a high standard essay, which is relevant to the topic of discussion.

Learning how to write a literature essay is not just about writing the essay. You also need to know how to structure the essay in the correct way.

Structure of an literature essay


This is the most important factor in an essay. The length of each paragraph is a crucial point for consideration to avoid a reader getting lost while reading it. Paragraphs are useful to both you as the writer, and the reader of the essay. Use different paragraphs to categorize your points and ideas. Ensure that you use short paragraphs throughout your essay. A high standard essay should not have paragraphs that exceed an A4 page.


Literature essays require that you have a strong argument unless the paper instructions need you to write a summary of a provided text. Ensure that your argument is not biased. The discussion should comprise all the possible position of the argument. A quality essay should provoke discussion by including different thoughts using the texts creatively.

Literary techniques

The aim of writing a literature essay is to demonstrate an individual’s love of words and English language. Utilize literary devices like alliterations, onomatopoeia, sibilance, and anaphora to make your English essay interesting. These technique can be effectively used when writing poetry.


All sources used in the essay should be credited and acknowledged using footnotes and creating a reference list. There are various ways which you can use to credit texts and ideas from other writers that you have used in your essay. In-text references can comprise name of the author, year of publication, and page number of the source. This allows a reader to look up the source used should he want. Ensure that your footnotes for the essay are well notated, and include information about the edition of the source and name of the publisher.


Use quotations in your essay to support facts, theories, ideas, thoughts, and argument in the essay. Quotations are effectively presented either as part of an essay sentence or as a word. Ensure that you include quotations in your essay creatively. In cases where you think that you need to use lengthy quotations to support your discussion or argument, make sure that you satisfy the following areas in your essay:

  1. Quotations should be set in the middle of a page in addition to leaving a single blank line before starting the quotation, and after the end of a quotation.
  2. A high Standard literature essay picks relevant sentences or words form lengthy quotations in a source, and discusses how the quotation relates or supports the argument a writer is making.
  3. It is acceptable to use a single ‘comma’ quotation mark, or a “double” to mark your quotations in a literature essay.
  4. When using quotations in your literature essay, bear in mind the importance of properly citing and acknowledging the source of the quotations used to avoid plagiarism in your essay.