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Books Year : 2020

Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare’s Genres

Claude Fretz


This book explores how Shakespeare uses images of dreams and sleep to define his dramatic worlds. Surveying Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories, and late plays, it argues that Shakespeare systematically exploits early modern physiological, religious, and political understandings of dreams and sleep in order to reshape conventions of dramatic genre, and to experiment with dream-inspired plots. The book discusses the significance of dreams and sleep in early modern culture, and explores the dramatic opportunities that this offered to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It also offers new insights into how Shakespeare adapted earlier literary models of dreams and sleep – including those found in classical drama, in medieval dream visions, and in native English dramatic traditions.



Dates and versions

hprints-03437611 , version 1 (20-11-2021)



Claude Fretz. Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare’s Genres. Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 978-3-030-13518-8. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-13519-5⟩. ⟨hprints-03437611⟩
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