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Gui, W.A. (1952). Bottom's Dream. Am. Imago, 9(3-4):251-305.

(1952). American Imago, 9(3-4):251-305

Bottom's Dream

Weston A. Gui, M.D.


Midsummer-Night's Dream was written by William Shakespeare for the 1595-96 season of the Chamberlain's men, a newly organized company of players under the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain and in royal favor at court. It was the twelfth of the some three-dozen plays to come from Shakespeare's pen during him lifetime and thus must be considered among the poet's early works; it assumes an outstanding significance for us, however, when we realize that among the great comedies and dramas of Shakespeare's output this play was not only unprecedented up till that time in his career in the profuseness of its use of fantasy but even remained unique thru-out the whole productive twenty years of Shakespeare's theatrical life in the scope and freedom of fantastic indulgence that the poet allowed himself in this play. Our knowledge of Shakespeare's interest in dreams, gained thru the repeated references to them in his other plays and thru the further fact that he both opened and closed his career in the theatre with plays dealing importantly with dreams, i.e., Richard III and The Tempest, coupled with the uniqueness of the display of fantasy in this play leads us to the interesting fact that in this play Shakespeare's fantasy is actually given the title of “dream.” This study, then, is an attempt to discover by the means of Freudian psychoanalysis the meaning of this dream and, if possible, the elements in the libidinous life of its creator that gave it origin.


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