13 Unique Argumentative Essay Topics About British Literature

High school and college students are often required to read books from British literature. Considered classics, these books range from social commentary to creative fiction. Before choosing a topic, students should read through their teacher's writing prompt carefully. Often, the teacher will assign specific books or topics that the student has to talk about. If the teacher provides a topic, the student should use that one for their writing. When a topic is not included, the student can use online resources or the following list of ideas to find a topic for their argumentative essay.

The Top 13 Argumentative Essay Topics About British Literature

  1. 1. In Bronte's Jane Eyre, the main character is an orphan. This theme is common in British literature—other famous examples include the orphaned Oliver Twist from Charles Dickens book. Why are orphans such a popular theme in British literature.
  2. 2. In the novels of Charles Dickens, he paints a vivid picture of Victorian England. He is also known for being one of the first novel writers in the world. Is Dickens a good novelist or is his fame due entirely to the previous two reasons?
  3. 3. Pick two different writers and look at how they portray men and women. What sexual or gender issues are addressed in British literature?
  4. 4. Who was the real William Shakespeare? Make an argument that supports the cause of a specific individual being the actual writer of Shakespeare's works.
  5. 5. How is the portrayal of a hero different in Beowulf and Shakespeare's King Lear? Use the character of Sir Gawain in Beowulf and Lear to make a case.
  6. 6. How are anti-heroes and villains portrayed differently in various works? Look at examples like King Lear, Morte D'Arthur or Milton's Paradise Lost.
  7. 7. How have different British writers portrayed the idea of a Utopian civilization?
  8. 8. Will the novels in J.K.'s Harry Potter series one day be considered literary classics? What makes a book into a classic?
  9. 9. How did Charlotte Bronte's idea of romantic love contrast with the typical idea of love at the time?
  10. 10. For a long time, many Englishmen believed that Jane Eyre was written by a man. At the time, only men were writers, so the initial publication used a pen name. Later, some people still refused to believe that such a book could be written by a woman. What is the history of female writers in Britain? Is there a difference between male and female authors?
  11. 11. Why was Lady Chatterley's Lover banned from England? What features were considered particularly salacious at the time?
  12. 12. How did the creation of the printing press impact the middle class's interest in literature? How did the growing interest of the middle class in novels affect British writers?
  13. 13. Compare two samples of British literature from different time periods. How are the class distinctions in England portrayed differently?

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