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In Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom (2003) Mr. Bloom tells directors how to direct Hamlet, which apparently none of them are competent to do without his advice:
"I have yet to see Hamlet
performed, on stage or on screen,
as extravagantly as it should be done."
|"Hamlet himself is a master comedian, like Falstaff, Rosalind, and Feste."|
|"The prince is sorrier for humankind than he is for himself."|
Bloom claims that Hamlet is the most knowing character in literature.
Hamlet: Poem Unlimited is a small book of 25 chapters, each only a few pages long, with chapter titles starting with "Inferring Hamlet" and ending with "Hamlet and no end". Bloom wrote this book as a "postlude to his Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human."
Bloom is an extremely opinionated and often cranky scholar, who worships Shakespeare and Hamlet.
I agree with one Amazon reviewer that "The book lacks a coherent development, explores no single argument, but Bloom is worth reading even when he rambles."
It's irritatingly and pompously self-assured and condescending at times (e.g., "There is a recent 'Be kind to Gertrude' fashion among some feminist critics ... ").
But I did find "Hamlet: Poem Unlimited" to be educational and interesting. Worth reading before your next viewing of Hamlet, but be sure to form your own opinions and not be swayed by Bloom's style.
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