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World Literature Research Paper Ideas – 15 Great Examples

Before you start writing a research paper on world literature, it’s good to consider a few different ideas worth writing about. We know it can be tough to come up with some on your own, so we’re providing this list to help inspire your project:

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  1. Provide a critical analysis of European literature of the middle ages and early Chinese works of the same period. How are the two alike and different?
  2. How did the revolutionary ideals of Marx and Engels help shape European literary works of the early 20th century? What are the biggest examples of this influence?
  3. How did the works Muslim philosophers of the 15th century contribute to new inventions and ideas throughout the world?
  4. Compare and contrast the anti-British works originating in India in the 19th century with the pro-colonialist works coming from England during the same period.
  5. How much influence do Aldous Huxley’s ideas of a nightmarish utopian future have on modern day science-fiction writers around the world today?
  6. Discuss how Sophocles’ play Antigone deals with conflict between its two central characters as it relates to individual conscience and the laws of the state.
  7. How does George Orwell’s Animal Farm reflect the author’s sentiments towards and concerns about the events of the October Revolution?
  8. What are some examples of literary pieces of fiction that have helped shaped world cultures? What cultural, societal or historic factors played roles in shaping those pieces of literature?
  9. Charles Dickens was among the most prolific writers of the early and mid-19th centuries. His works were published weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly in serialized forms? How as this method fallen out of fashion?
  10. Compare and contrast early Chinese works of literature with early Japanese works. How do these two close countries differ so greatly in terms of cultural values present in literature?
  11. How does comedy in literature differ across culture? What types of comedy do we see today that first appeared in the earliest form of theatrical performance?
  12. Provide a critical analysis of honor and chivalry in the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. How are these qualities characterized in similar works from the same period?
  13. Compare and contrast Homer’s Ancient Greek works the Iliad and the Odyssey. How have cultures around the world adapted some of the themes presented in these two poems?
  14. How do spirituality and the supernatural help further the plot development in Latin American literary works of the early 20th century?
  15. What are the most common themes found in the early 20th century death poems in Japanese literature? How do these themes differ from those of the 19th century?