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Dreams, Subjectivity and the Author: The Cases of Shakespeare and Strindberg
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2469-6431
2015 (English)In: Shakespeare and Scandinavia: International Academic Conference, 8-11 October 2015, 2015Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a parallel reading of the use of dreams in the drama of Shakespeare and Strindberg. Of course, dreams are a common device in theatre from all times, although their significance and dramatic function vary over time. Specifically, dreams in early modern drama such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream could sometimes serve as a figure for the audience,  as in Puck’s address to the spectators: “You have but slumbered here / While these visions did appear”. In other cases such as John Lyly’s The Woman in the Moon the play is deferentially suggested to be the author’s dream, with deference to his patron: “Remember all is but a Poets dreame, / The first he had in Phœbus holy bowre”. By contrast to such concessions to the audience and their patronage, Strindberg’s symbolist drama of the early 20th century – itself strongly inspired by Shakespeare – utilizes the dream device in a way that reflects the structure of the human psyche. His A Dream Play (1907) deliberately sets out to “reproduce the disconnected but apparently logical form of a dream”, in which characters “are split, double and multiply”. Moreover, the fin-de-siècle sensibility of Strindberg’s play suggests a different conception of the author: dreams no longer represent the will of the audience so much as the condition of the writer. In other words, the Shakespearean dreams of Strindberg's plays reflect both changing conceptions of interiority as well as historically conditioned changes in the status of the author.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Shakespeare, Strindberg, Scandinavia, John Lyly, dreams, A Dream Play, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, English literature; Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-46747OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-46747DiVA: diva2:860540
Conference
Shakespeare and Scandinavia: International Academic Conference, 8-11 October 2015
Available from: 2015-10-12 Created: 2015-10-12 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
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
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf