Reading Dreams

Reading Dreams : The Interpretation of Dreams from Chaucer to Shakespeare

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Reading Dreams contains seven new essays, based on new research, on the representation and interpretation of medieval and Renaissance dreams. The textual focus is both literary and non-literary. Chaucer and Shakespeare are important reference-points, while Langland, the Pearl-poet and Milton receive significant coverage. Diaries, philosophical texts, polemical writings, works on dream theory and medical treatises are also extensively used. The methodology is a mixture of close reading, detailed comparison and contextualising. Theoretical approaches are drawn from Freud, anthropology, social history and gender studies as well as from literary criticism. This is the first time that English-speaking scholars have collaborated to produce a book about medieval and Renaissance dreams. Their essays are designed to develop innovative and novel approaches of a variety and range possible only in a specially commissioned collection of essays. At the same time, there are recurrent preoccupations, such as the relationship of theory to text, and the status of dreams as historical evidence. The authors open up new areas of enquiry, and suggest and exemplify possible approaches. In so doing, and by including three scholars who have written acclaimed works on medieval dreams (A. C. Spearing, Kathryn Lynch and Steven Kruger), Reading Dreams will provide an authoritative advance on previous studies. It also represents a new departure by extending the debate across the medieval and Renaissance periods.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 204 pages
  • 147.3 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 430.92g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0198183631
  • 9780198183631

Review quote

The volume includes its own review in the form of an introduction by A. C. Spearing (Medieval Dream Poetry), the scholar who introduced many to the whole subject of dreaming in medieval literature. It is an excellent summary of the book and analysis of the individual contributions * Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review * Any student of medieval literature, any student of Chaucer, and particularly any student of dreaming in Chaucer should consult this volume * Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review * This volume is an important addition to the literature in what it says about our own fascination with dreams and how we view them in our own time from our own perspectives * Eileen Gardiner, The Medieval Review * For those interested in medieval and early modern dreams, this book will be essential reading * Sixteenth Century Journal * This is a stimulating, wide-ranging collection of essays * Modern Language Review *show more

About Peter Brown

Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Director of the Canterbury Centre for Medieval & Tudor Studies at the University of Kent (1993) Visiting Professor in English Literature, University of California at Los Angeles (1992-93) Distinguished Visiting Professor in Medieval Studies, University of Connecticut at Storrs (1991-92) Visiting Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (198283) Lecturer in English and American Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury (1977-93) Tutor in Medieval English Literature, University of Exeter (1976-77)show more

Table of contents

Editor's preface ; Notes on Contributors ; Introduction ; On the Borders of Middle English Dream Visions ; Medical and Moral Authority in the Late-Medieval Dream ; Intrepreting Dreams: Reflections on Freud, Milton, and Chaucer ; Baring Bottom: Shakespeare and the Chaucerian Dream Vision ; The Intrepretation of Dreams in the Renaissance ; The Candy-Colored Clown: Reading Early Modern Dreams ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more

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