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Are you looking for some fresh and non-trivial topics for a research paper in English? Then you’ve come to the right place! We know how difficult finding a good topic can be, and it’s a well-known fact that your paper’s theme determines 50% of the success of your essay or research paper. We are presenting you with our ultimate collection (well, a part of it, actually) of topics. We won’t promise you that writing about any of these topics will be easy, but it definitely will be interesting and innovative.
Topics for English Research Papers About Ancient Literature
- Is it true that some plots and plot twists mentioned in the Mahabharata still have the most impact on modern literature? Why or why not? Which ones are the most famous now?
- Do you believe in the theory of 36 dramatic situations created by Georges Polti, derived from classical Greek texts? Are they still true for modern literature, or does the list need changes?
- What are the differences between ancient Greek and ancient Indian myths of creation?
- The myth about the great deluge and its way to the Bible.
- The Korean myth about the foundation of the Korean nation. What are the main differences between European myths on the same topic?
- Why does the main character in the myth about Cu Chulainn have such a weird appearance? Why is it described as incredibly attractive, though abnormal?
- Give three to five examples of the major influence of Poetic Edda on Scandinavian literature.
- What is the Egyptian Book of the Dead? Is it true that its texts served only ritual purposes?
- Mythological cycle about Hercules as a symbol of an ancient man challenging and questioning the existence of gods.
- The history of the writing system. The Phoenician alphabet.
English Research Paper Topics: Early Middle Ages
- Why many of the medieval works were written anonymously? What does it tell us about the perception of the author’s role in the process, and position of the human being in the universe?
- What are the main characteristics of early medieval literature which show the influence of the church?
- Describe the most important symbols in the Slavic epic poem “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign.” Do they have something in common?
- What is the symbol of three battles in the “Beowulf”? Why is every next battle harder than the previous one?
- Can we argue that the text of Beowulf is not homogenous and that it is composed of parts created in different time spans? If so, what are your arguments?
- How is the concept of time in “The Song of the Nibelungs” different from the concept we have now?
- Analyze Kriemhild’s character. What does the ability to wait for 20 years to take revenge on her enemies say about the woman?
- Why do Roland’s horse, sword, and horn have names? Which function do they perform in the epic?
- Is the representation of Tilpin in “The Song of Roland” as a warrior-bishop historically accurate or fictional? What is the function of his character?
- The historical background of “The Song of Roland.” Which events are real, and which are fictional? What was the purpose of writing this epic?
Topics For a Research Paper in English: Middle Ages
- The emergence of the concept of courtly love and its depiction in medieval literature.
- What are the classic origins of the chivalric romance genre?
- The depiction of female characters in later medieval chivalric novels. Is it true that they just served as a “decoration” for the leading male?
- Is it true that the typical plot of “damsel in distress” originates in medieval romantic novels? Why or why not?
- Can “Tristan and Iseult” be called a story about fatal love, or about love at first sight? Are the life paths of the two main characters easy, or are they filled with obstacles?
- Fate and fortuity in “Tristan and Iseult” as the main ways of forming the plot.
- Iseult is the first independent female character in medieval literature – agree or not?
- Why was the allegory so common in medieval novels? Use the example of “Gargantua and Pantagruel.”
- The meaning of the search of Holy Grail in the “Parzival.”
- The place of female characters in “Parzival.” How are they related to the search of the Grail?
English Research Paper Topics: Renaissance and Classicism
- Why is Dante’s “Divine Comedy” considered to be a pre-Renaissance or even Renaissance work? What does it have in common with medieval literature?
- What is the purpose of putting Dante’s contemporaries in various circles of Hell?
- What is your opinion on the fact that prominent people of ancient times, which were born before Christ’s birth, can’t go to Heaven? Is it fair?
- The influence of invention of the printing press on the literature of the German Renaissance.
- What is the core focus of Renaissance literature? How is it different from those in the medieval ages and why?
- The crisis of the Renaissance and humanism as depicted in Don Quixote by Cervantes.
- Why does Joseph Brodsky believe that Don Quixote is a very sad story, despite its superficial, humorous nature?
- The influence of “L’Art poetique” by Boileau on the poetry of classicism.
- Classicism as an epoch of philosophical, sociological and political literature. Why do these types of literature dominate in the minds of people over poems and novels?
- The plays of Pierre Corneille as examples of classicism and implementing three “classical unities.” (Choose one play to analyze.)
Topics for English Research Papers: Romanticism
- Traits of romanticism in “The Hunchback of the Notre Dame” (supported by quotes from the text).
- Do you agree that the cathedral is as important in “The Hunchback of the Notre Dame” as main characters? Why?
- Does romantic movement have an impact on the Goethe’s “Faust?” Can Faust be called a typical romantic hero?
- The representation of the devil in Goethe’s “Faust.” Is Mephistopheles plain evil, and does he act as a tempting serpent, or does he have a more important role in the play?
- “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly as a reflection of perception of science in the Romantic Age.
- George Byron’s lyrical hero as a typical romantic hero. Which characteristics does the concept of Byronic hero include?
- Traits of romanticism and influence of the Byronic hero on “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte with examples from the novel.
- Can Ivanhoe be called a classic romantic hero to the extent he becomes a two-dimensional “good fellow?”
- Rebecca from “Ivanhoe” by Walter Scott is a stronger and more independent character compared to Lady Rowena – agree or not?
- Do you think that Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” belongs to American romantic literature? Prove your point of view with quotations or references to the plot.