Books: Shakespeare: The Invention Of The Human

By Harold Bloom

We already know that Shakespeare virtually invented English. If we are to believe America's critic in chief, the playwright also invented human nature. In this tome the self-styled "Bloom Brontosaurus Bardolater" offers play-by-play essays that are a humane hymn to Shakespeare's continuing relevance as our "mortal god." If he does not quite prove his tremendous thesis, the author of The Western Canon amiably excuses himself on the ground that "explaining Shakespeare is an infinite exercise; you will become exhausted long before the plays are emptied out." Bloom may feel spent after 745 pages, but his essays will energize readers to go...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!