Informace o publikaci

“Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, / By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams” : Political Dreams in Shakespeare’s History Plays



Rok publikování 2019
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Although in the course of the 17th century, dreams as source of special knowledge were gradually losing their prestige in England, in the Tudor and Stuart periods, dreaming and its content still retained high cultural status and were subject of heated intellectual, theological, and even legal debates. One can mention William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, whose dreams accounts were used as evidence against him during his trial in the 1640s that ultimately lead to his execution. As Helen Hackett has recently shown, political dreams about the monarch were commonplace during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who, as a woman on the throne, was an especially powerful object of (both real and fictitious) dreams of her subjects, who hoped for the Queen’s favour. Among the authors who employed dreams and a literary device in their works, Shakespeare was perhaps the most prolific one in this respect, making use of dreams and visions throughout his entire dramatic career. This presentation will focus on the dreams in Shakespeare’s history plays, whose political content provided an ideal opportunity for the dramatist to make use of supernatural dreams and an effective dramaturgical device. An attention will be paid to the variety of functions of the specific dream episodes, from foreshadowing the development of the plot to the delineation of individual characters or even shaping the moral image of the king himself. Among the discussed works will the Henry VI trilogy, Richard III, the Henry IV duology, and Henry VIII. The aim of the paper will be not only to show the dramaturgical ingenuity of Shakespeare, but also to what extent the political, intellectual and cultural contexts of the time were reflected in the dramatic dreams of the period.
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