Not that Bloom abjures these subsequent selves. There is much canon fodder in this new book, along with reaffirmed vows of fidelity to Shakespeare, “the founder” not only of modern literature but also, in Bloom’s expansive view, of modern personhood and its “infinite self-consciousness.”
“For me, Shakespeare is God,” he declares at one point, and in other places he says much the same thing, in much the same words, a reminder that to read Bloom once is in a sense to reread him, so often does he repeat himself. Twice he asserts that Shakespeare’s greatest creations are Falstaff, Hamlet, Iago and Cleopatra; twice that “The Tempest” and “The Winter’s Tale” are tragicomedies and not romances; three times that “Titus Andronicus” parodies the tragedies of Shakespeare’s defeated rival Marlowe. Prospero, Bloom shrewdly observes, “is one of those teachers who is always convinced his auditors are not quite attentive.” So too Bloom, himself a “professional teacher” for 55 years now, has perhaps learned that the most efficient way to get your point across is to keep making it, the classroom sage’s version of staying on message.
Timeline of Shakespeare criticism is a
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