Shakespeare by Harold Bloom
The Invention of the Human

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Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is the culmination of Harold Bloom's life's work in reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare. It is his passionate and convincing analysis of the way in which Shakespeare not merely represented human nature as we know it today, but actually created it: before Shakespeare, there was characterization; after Shakespeare, there was character, men and women with highly individual personalities--Hamlet, Falstaff, Iago, Cleopatra, Macbeth, Rosalind, and Lear, among them. In making his argument, Bloom leads us through a brilliant and comprehensive reading of every one of Shakespeare's plays. According to a New York Times report on Shakespeare last year, "more people are watching him, reading him, and studying him than ever before." Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human is a landmark contribution, a book that will be celebrated and read for many years to come. It explains why Shakespeare has remained our most popular playwright for more than four hundred years, and in helping us to understand ourselves through literature, it restores the role of critic to one of central importance to our culture.

About Harold Bloom

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Harold Bloom, July 11, 1930 - Harold Bloom was born on July 11, 1930 in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell in 1951 and his Doctorate from Yale in 1955. After graduating from Yale, Bloom remained there as a teacher, and was made Sterling Professor of Humanities in 1983. Bloom's theories have changed the way that critics think of literary tradition and has also focused his attentions on history and the Bible. He has written over twenty books and edited countless others. He is one of the most famous critics in the world and considered an expert in many fields.
Published October 26, 1998 by Riverhead Hardcover. 745 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shakespeare

The New York Times

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Ron Rosenbaum’s new book about scholarly debates over Shakespeare gets bogged down in blow-by-blow accounts of academic feuds.

Oct 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare: The Invention of...

Publishers Weekly

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The leitmotif of Shakespeare's ""invention of the human,"" i.e., of the changeable, individual human character, is a useful through-line to the essays but never highjacks them as Bloom's critical tropes sometimes do.

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The "Boom-Boom" Bloom who has played to the culture warriors' peanut gallery with his Billboard-style greatest hits of the Western Canon, and who's padded his books with slapstick attacks on the "School of Resentment," is not the real Bloom -- the Bloom who taught us how to read Wordsworth, Emers...

Nov 03 1998 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare: The Invention of...

Literary scholar/critic Bloom devotes an essay to each of the plays on the idea that Shakespeare's work is re

Jan 01 2014 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare: The Invention of...

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