Joe's Reviews > Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

Shakespeare by Harold Bloom
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's review
Feb 27, 10

bookshelves: 2010
Read in February, 2010

Wow! Is all I can think whenever I pick up this volume. It's a treasure chest, full of deep, rich and completely comprehensible insight into every one of Shakespeare's plays. Read it before or after you go see one of his shows; read it to understand the Bard better; read it to understand who you are and how much Shakespeare has to do with that. You may not agree with every one of Bloom's conclusions. I am sympathetic to but ultimately repelled by his contention that suitable performances of the plays are nearly impossible, for instance. But you will find an unalterable truth below them, that Shakespeare's plays defy all categorizations and academic fads, and have been more important than any philosopher or psychologist in creating the way we think, feel and love.

My favorite sections were Measure for Measure, the late romances, As You Like It, and, of course, the high tragedies.

Bonus: this book makes for extremely awesome bathroom reading for the English lit nerd. You will look very smart when your guests come over.

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