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Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom
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Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (edition 2003)

by Harold Bloom (Author)

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402349,489 (3.57)4
Hamlet: poem Unlimited is Bloom's attempt to uncover the mystery of both Prince Hamlet and the play itself, how both prince and drama are able to break through the conventions of theatrical mimesis and the representation of character, making us question the very nature of theatrical illusion. In twenty-five brief chapters, Bloom takes us through the major soliloquies, scenes, characters, and action of the play, to explore the enigma at the heart of the drama, that is central to its universal appeal.… (more)
Member:LegendaBookery
Title:Hamlet: Poem Unlimited
Authors:Harold Bloom (Author)
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2003), Edition: First Edition, 154 pages
Collections:Your library, In Stock, Used, Midlist
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Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom

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A speedy, yet thoughtful, ride in Hamlet country. Bloom pauses over the most pregnant passages of the play and discloses several keys for reading, but it doesn't impose his own truth, leaving the reader to create his own impression.
Lighter, yet more profound maybe, than "Shakespeare the invention of the human". A must read if you like Hamlet ( )
  CarloA | Feb 14, 2013 |
Bloom says early on that this book is an extension of his remarks on Hamlet in Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), where he admits he got bound up in questions about the original Hamlet play and didn’t say what he intended to about this play. “I think it wise to confront both the play and the prince with awe and wonder, because they know more than we do,” he writes in the first chapter. “I have been willing to call such a stance Bardolatry, which seems to me only another name for authentic response to Shakespeare.”
Reading this long essay (scarcely 150 pages, with generous margins), I am strongly reminded of that other Bardolater, Thomas De Quincey, who apostrophizes Shakespeare in “On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth” by saying “Thy works are . . . like the phenomena of nature . . . to be studied with entire submission of our own faculties.” Bloom seems to be arguing, not that De Quincey reads Shakespeare as a Romantic because De Quincey was a Romantic, but rather that Shakespeare invented Romantic sensibility and enabled De Quincey:
[early in Act V] Hamlet is already in his own place, the high place of his dying . . . . It is the place where even the most acute of all self-consciousnesses, Hamlet’s, will lose the shadow of self while continuing to expand as a consciousness. What we have called Western Romanticism is the last embellishment of Hamlet’s great shadow, cast off to become a thousand other selves.
“Hamlet discovers,” Bloom had written a little earlier, “that his life has been a quest with no object except his own endlessly burgeoning subjectivity.” ( )
1 vote michaelm42071 | Sep 3, 2009 |
Bloom has great character insight, and his unabashed and total adoration of Hamlet doesn't get in the way of him figuring out why he loves him. This is a great addendum to "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human," and actually furthers the aim of that text much more than its chapter on Hamlet did. (Which Bloom knows, and is why he wrote it.) I like his reading of Gertrude -- particularly how he denies that she needs an apologist. And I enjoyed his exploration of the play's obsession with being a play. ( )
1 vote surlybookseller | Apr 12, 2007 |
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Hamlet: poem Unlimited is Bloom's attempt to uncover the mystery of both Prince Hamlet and the play itself, how both prince and drama are able to break through the conventions of theatrical mimesis and the representation of character, making us question the very nature of theatrical illusion. In twenty-five brief chapters, Bloom takes us through the major soliloquies, scenes, characters, and action of the play, to explore the enigma at the heart of the drama, that is central to its universal appeal.

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