Shakespeare and the Canon: Tragedies and Romances, HUMS 151b

Meeting Time: 
T 1:30-3:20

Course Description:

A reading of Shakespeare’s tragedies and romances, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

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 TBD.

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.


  • As long as Harold Bloom is teaching at Yale, his courses are a must-take. As someone with little to no Shakespeare knowledge, I was intimidated by some of my peers at times, but I was still able to participate in classroom discussion.”
  • “Prof. Bloom is a true intellectual and an incredible mentor. He is a genuinely kind man who takes a real interest in his students, and his insights border on the prophetic.”
  • “a great opportunity to learn from probably the greatest literary critic of their generation”