‘What do I fear? Myself?’
Nightmares, conscience and the ‘Gothic’ self in Richard III
in Gothic Renaissance
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact manchesterhive@manchester.ac.uk for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

Per Sivefors investigates Renaissance dream theories in relation to notions of conscience, arguing for an increasingly ‘ambiguous status of conscience [which] pushes dreams in direction of a psychologizing approach – dreams as revealing truths about the human self’ after the Reformation. Thus the Reformation shift towards linking individualized interiority, conscience and guilt is seen as prefiguration of the ‘internalized conscience’ of the Gothic (Sage). In this context the (proto-)Gothicism of the nightmares in Shakespeare’s Richard III is connected to their ‘function of a guilty conscience’. The ‘staged vision of the ghosts becomes an image of Richard’s divided interior’ as ‘the level of introspection is more important than the level of divine retribution’. In this sense the Shakespearean nightmares anticipate ‘an irresolution between supernatural and psychological causes’ in Gothic fiction (Hogle 213).

Gothic Renaissance

A reassessment


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 38 19 0
Full Text Views 33 6 0
PDF Downloads 14 8 0