Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

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Riverhead Books, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 745 pages
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AliceAnna - LibraryThing

A scholarly, yet not pretentious look at Shakespeare's works as a reflection of human nature. A very good reference work. Read Bloom's take on any play before reading/seeing it, and you will surely get much more out of it. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Typical Bloom - some extremely insightful and enlightening insights, and some that are completely bizarre and absurd. Good for referencing Shakespeare and for finding interesting bits. I admit that ... Read full review

Contents

The Comedy of Errors
21
THE FIRST HISTORIES
38
THE APPRENTICE TRAGEDIES
75
Copyright

18 other sections not shown

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About the author (1998)

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. In 2010 he became a founding patron of Ralston College, a new institution in Savannah, Georgia, that focuses on primary texts. His works include Fallen Angels, Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems, Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life and The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of The King James Bible.

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