Saturday, August 1, 2009

Order of Reading and Bloom

I am reading Harold Bloom's "Shakespeare - the Invention of the Human" alongside the plays, as I like his theory that humanity began with Shakespeare.

I am also following Bloom's estimated chronology of the 38 plays, which is of course uncertain.

In his book, Bloom does not tackle the plays chronologically, but I will, as would like to see if I can notice some kind of progress or change in Shakespeare's writing over time. (That means I am reading Bloom out of order!)

Thus my order of reading is going to be:

1. Henry VI, Part 1 (1589?)
2. Henry VI, Part 2
3. Henry VI, Part 3
4. Richard III
5. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
-- A Lover's Complaint (narrative poem)
-- Venus and Adonis (narrative poem)
-- The Passionate Pilgrim (narrative poem)
6. The Comedy of Errors
-- (Sonnets 1589 - 1609)
-- The Rape of Lucrece (narrative poem)
7. Titus Andronicus
8. The Taming of the Shrew
9. Love's Labour's Lost
10. King John
11. King Richard II
12. Romeo and Juliet
13. A Midsummer Night's Dream
14. The Merchant of Venice
15. King Henry IV, Part 1
16. The Merry Wives of Windsor
17. King Henry IV, Part 2
18. Much Ado About Nothing
19. King Henry V
20. Julius Caesar
21. As You Like It
22. Hamlet
-- The Phoenix and the Turtle (narrative poem)
23. Twelfth Night
24. Troilus and Cressida
25. All's Well That Ends Well
26. Measure for Measure
27. Othello
28. King Lear
29. Macbeth
30. Anthony and Cleopatra
31. Coriolanus
32. Timon of Athens
33. Pericles
34. Cymbeline
35. The Winter's Tale
36. The Tempest
37. Henry VIII
38. The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613?)

My text: "The Arden Shakespeare - The Complete Works" (1310 pages). All images from

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