"And Dreams Advise": The Dreams in Paradise Lost and Their Precursors

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Title: "And Dreams Advise": The Dreams in Paradise Lost and Their Precursors
Author: Toms, Marcia Lynn
Advisors: Linda T. Holley, Committee Member
Thomas D. Lisk, Committee Member
Robert V. Young, Committee Chair
Abstract: While much has been written about Eve's dream in Book V of "Paradise Lost", the other dreams are often ignored or considered only as foils for Eve's first dream. Adam's two divine dreams and Eve's postlapsarian dream, however, each serves important literary functions within the epic. Adam's first dream brings him into Paradise; his second shows his uxoriousness; Eve's final dream restores her relationships with God and Adam. Together, all four dreams illustrate the nature of human life before and after the fall. Each of these dreams ultimately derives from classical and biblical uses of dreams, but Milton modifies the conventions of the literary tradition to fit his purpose. This study compares each of the four major dreams in "Paradise Lost" to dreams in works of Milton';s immediate predecessors. Works of Spenser, Sidney, and Donne provide examples of traditional uses of dreams in literature and help illuminate the ways Milton modifies that tradition.
Date: 2003-06-20
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/491

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