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Sex and the Self: Simon Forman, Subjectivity and Erotic Dreams in Early Modern England
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2469-6431
2013 (English)In: Pangs of Love and Longing: Configurations of Desire in Premodern Literature / [ed] Anders Cullhed, Carin Franzén, Anders Hallengren, Mats Malm, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, 281-292 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This essay proposes a new reading of the physician and astrologist Simon Forman’s dream of Queen Elizabeth, recorded in 1597. While previous criticism has examined this dream for its political implications and its connections to other literary texts, Sivefors contextualizes it from the point of view of early modern dream theory and subjectivity. The basic argument is that Forman’s dream both invests dreams with predictive value and anticipates a more distinctly modern, individualizing, anti-metaphysical tendency in dream interpretation. This is crucially reinforced by an emphasis on sexuality – male, hetero, “normal” – as a defining characteristic of the individual. Forman’s dream is in line with a general tendency for dreams to lose in epistemological prestige in the 17th century – a tendency that increasingly puts the emphasis on the individual’s inner life rather than on implications of angelic messages or general predictions of the future. What is more, the individual’s sexuality and sexual orientation are at the focus of this change, thus in important ways foreshadowing later developments in, e.g., Freudian psychoanalysis. The essay hence maps a complex series of changes in attitudes to dream interpretation as well as to sexuality in the Early Modern period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 281-292 p.
Keyword [en]
dreams, early modern, Simon Forman, Elizabethan literature, desire, subjectivity
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Humanities, English literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-28681ISBN: 978-1-4438-4763-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-28681DiVA: diva2:645560
Available from: 2013-09-04 Created: 2013-09-04 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Sivefors, Per

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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