Shakespeare and the Canon: Histories, Comedies, and Poems, HUMS 150a

Meeting Time: 
T 1:30-3:20

Course Description:

A reading of Shakespeare’s histories, comedies, and poems, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition and their influence on Western representation since the seventeenth century. Secondary readings included.

Admissions Procedure:

Students who wish to apply should submit several pages about their qualifications, their interests, and their knowledge concerning the subject matter of this discussion group. 

Please leave a hard copy of your remarks in Harold Bloom’s first floor mailbox at the Whitney Humanities Center or send an attachment by email to by Friday, August 30, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

Led by:

Professor Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom is a literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than forty books, including twenty books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and a novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies concerning numerous literary and philosophical figures for the Chelsea House publishing firm. 

Some of his many books include: The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, Agon: Towards a Theory of Revisionism, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry, Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, How to Read and Why, Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages, Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds, A Map of Misreading, and Hamlet: Poem Unlimited. He is also co-editor with Lionel Trilling of Romantic Poetry and Proseand Victorian Poetry and Prose. They have been translated into more than 40 different languages.


This course was previously offered in the Fall of 2015, 2016, and 2018. Testimonials are taken from student course evaluations.

  • #1 course at Yale; a tutorial experience with the world’s preeminent humanities mind, for which one attends university.”
  • “Bloom is a legend and it’s a privilege to learn from him class discussion”
  • “Bloom creates an environment where every answer will be taken on its own merit, and he will push you to expand your ideas and your means of communicating”