The invention of the Human Essay

The invention of the Human Essay

Length: 2074 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Invention of the Human

In his recent book, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), Harold Bloom argues that Shakespeare’s characters provide the full measure of his continuing legacy. Shakespeare, Bloom maintains, created self-conscious characters who breathe life. Shakespeare’s characters are so alive, possess such "interiority," that they catch themselves looking at themselves. This quality is the essence of becoming human—to know we know, to be aware we are aware, to sense our own presence on the stage of life.

Prior to Shakespeare’s ascendancy on the English stage, Bloom argues, there was no concept of the individual self, just types. These types persist in Shakespeare’s plays as residual stock characters displaying humours, like Malvolio (melancholic) and Hotspur (choleric). In Shakespeare these crude concepts of personality give way to major and minor characters who evolve and grow almost within themselves. They possess a special energy that touches all other characters within the play. But it is Bloom’s provocative remark, "Shakespeare invented us," that stretches us beyond our conditioned response to the plays and invites us to define a new relationship with Shakespeare. Bloom argues that Shakespeare so interpenetrates our consciousness and our cultural existence that we do not know the boundary between him and us.

One suspects that we are receptive to Bloom’s idea because of the mysterious ambivalence of Shakespeare himself. Shakespeare’s elusive self, the stuff of Keats’s Negative Capability, may indeed be found in his 100 major characters and hundreds of minor personages dispersed through his histories, comedies, and tragedies. Bloom, however, takes Shakespeare and his characters out of dramatic con...


... middle of paper ...


...al world of Elizabethan England—essential to an understanding of Shakespeare’s history plays can easily be lost if we regard the characters as existing beyond their origins. We cannot neglect the social, intellectual, and historical context in which the histories derive their meaning. Bloom asserts that the plays’ characters transcend their origins and operate in a universe that is still being created. We can appreciate his thesis as it reverberates through our consciousness. Bloom has successfully helped us secure a new relationship with Shakespeare and his dramatic art. At the same time, we must wonder if we can separate Shakespeare—and his characters—from the plays.


Works Cited
Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead Books, 1998.
The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. 2nd. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Invention Of Human Development Essay

- The whole history of human development, in essence, is a glorious history of invention. All aspects of human are all related to the invention and creation, such as clothing, food, housing, transportation and communication. Compared with the past, these entire have a big difference due to the scientists invent. It can even be said that, without invention, there is no human civilization and high-tech era. The invention, as the essential symbol of human progress and development, is full of meaning....   [tags: Patent, Invention, Incandescent light bulb]

Powerful Essays
1471 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Disastrous Effects of Human Invention

- ... The result was foam polystyrene with bubble, 30 times lighter than regular polystyrene” ( Bellis 2).This material quickly caught on as an insulator. Also this new interest in Styrofoam lead to more research in polystyrene which lead to the invention of expanded polystyrene foam which is found in items from packaging peanuts to takeout containers and the. Also in 1960 the first foam cups entered the markets which lead the world into an age of cheap polystyrene materials. The invention of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and Styrofoam introduced the pollutant polystyrene into the environment with only time to tell the world what a mistake it Form the 1960s to the 2000s, the use of po...   [tags: environmental deterioration]

Powerful Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Morality is a Human Invention

- Morality is a Human Invention To approach the subject of Morality, one must first gird himself well, for the road is a difficult one. The perennial questions often revolve around what is Right and what is Wrong, so an explanation here is difficult at best, and futile, at worst. Nevertheless, I shall begin with a quote from Twilight of the Idols, by Nietzsche: "I formulate a principle. All naturalism in morality, that is all healthy morality, is dominated by an instinct of life- some commandment of life is fulfilled through a certain canon of 'shall' and 'shall not', some hindrance and hostile element on life's road is thereby removed....   [tags: Philosophy Essays]

Powerful Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

The Invention Of Human Cloning Essay

- Many science fiction movies include futuristic beings known as clones, but is this the age of the future and are clones becoming a reality. In movies, clones are represented as mindless forms that obey every command of their master or creator; however, in reality, clone prototypes today will be late-term twins of the cells of whom were taken. The technology of cloning has taken over 50 years to perfect, and is still nowhere near perfection. Once the technology of cloning is misdirected, the technology has the potential to develop terrifying effects....   [tags: Cloning, Human cloning]

Powerful Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

The invention of the Human Essay

- The Invention of the Human In his recent book, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), Harold Bloom argues that Shakespeare’s characters provide the full measure of his continuing legacy. Shakespeare, Bloom maintains, created self-conscious characters who breathe life. Shakespeare’s characters are so alive, possess such "interiority," that they catch themselves looking at themselves. This quality is the essence of becoming human—to know we know, to be aware we are aware, to sense our own presence on the stage of life....   [tags: Shakespeare Literature Papers]

Powerful Essays
2074 words (5.9 pages)

The Most Important Invention Of The Human History Essay

- Paper is the most important invention in the human history. it has a huge impact on the human everyday life, going paperless is consider a long way to go before losing human dependence on this very important product. People may not notice that paper has a role to play in human every day life. From the newspaper to paper packaging, paper is everywhere, but what paper is made up of is still a little bit blur for most people. Everyone knows that paper come from trees but what is paper all made up of and how to get from trees to papers is still a question for most people, and it certainly isn’t a stripped down pine....   [tags: Paper, Recycling, Wood, Charles Fenerty]

Powerful Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

The Smartphone Invention Is Evolving Changing Human Life Essay

- Have you ever known that along with keys and money, the smartphone is one of three survival items most people carry with them. Due to the innovation of modern technology, the smartphone invention is evolving and changing human life rapidly these days. Clearly, according to Kadlec, “half of American adults own a smart phone and that the rate of ownership is expanding quickly”. This research shows that how many people are becoming accustomed to using this modern device. It is invented to support the needs of people that they want their mobile devices to have more Internet capabilities....   [tags: Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant]

Powerful Essays
1825 words (5.2 pages)

The Invention Of Clothing Start From Protecting Human Body Essay

- It can be said that wearing clothes is the feature of human societies, the invention of clothing start from protecting human body, it can help human against the changes of climate and environments. Nowadays, there are more meaning for clothing, not only a comfortable wearing, but also have many hidden messages, it can be a style, fashion look or personal statement. Choose clothing means choose an attitudes. We can find a lot of messages from people 's outfits, this information helps us understand the wearer 's background, from their interest, habits to social identity....   [tags: Fashion, Clothing, T-shirt, Margaret Thatcher]

Powerful Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

The Invention Of Fire By The Homo Erectus Essay

- It’s universal, provides warmth, cooks our food and has been around since the time of the homo erectus. What is it. It’s fire. Fire has been used by the Homo erectus since 1mya (Larson, 2008) and since then it’s been used by many different cultures and people around the world for a multitude of different reasons. These reasons can range from anything, the need to provide warmth in colder climates or the need for fire to cook food. The invention of fire has been extraordinary, but the controlled use of fire is even more so....   [tags: Human evolution, Human, Evolution, Cooking]

Powerful Essays
1443 words (4.1 pages)

Robots Are Becoming An Exciting Invention Essays

- Robots are becoming an interesting invention in human lives especially in millennials generation that are dealing sophisticated life and technology. Known for their appearance in many sci-fi movies, robots have become more and more intriguing among today’s generations. Robots are created to help the humans in their complicated or dangerous work. In constantly revolving world, robots are created with the purpose of aiding humans in sophisticated or dangerous labor. According to Mary Bellis, an inventors expert in her article “The Definition of A Robot,” a robot is a real or imaginary machine that is controlled by a computer and is often made to look like a human or animal, and a machine that...   [tags: Human, Thought, Hominidae]

Powerful Essays
1412 words (4 pages)