Dream Allegory | Literary Genre | Dream vision in literature

Dream Allegory | Literary Genre | Dream vision in literature

Dream allegory is a mode of narrative extremely popular in the Middle ages.


By common convention the writer goes to sleep and dreamt an event in rural surroundings and often on a spring landscape.

Dream vision as an allegory

Usually the dream vision was expressed as an allegory. A excellent example of Medieval dream allegory is the 13th century French poem "Roman de la Rosa". 
The "Roman de la Rosa" opens at a river bank outside a walled garden where the hero enters through a wicket gate, these scenes becomes a stock property in Medieval literature.
The story is narrated in the form of a dream, from which he wakes at the conclusion. This dream form of narration is presented by the writer as dream allegory.
The may morning, the wandering in the country, the falling asleep and dreaming , plot is usually a garden, are the characteristics features of the literary genre of dream allegory.

Creations under the literary genre of dream vision

The greatest Medieval poem Dante's "Divine Comedy" is an example of a dream allegory. The late 14th century poem, "The Pearl" by William Langland is also caste in the form of a dream allegory. 
It is also the narrative mode of Langland's "Piers Plowman" and of Chaucer's "The book of Duchess", "The house of fame", "The Parliament of fowls" and the "Prologue to the Canterbury Tales".
After the middle ages, although the vogue of dream allegory diminished, yet it never died out. This is evident in Bunyan's prose narrative "The Pilgrim's Progress" and Keat's verse narrative "The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream". Lewis Carroll's "Alice-adventure in wonderland" is in the form of dream allegory. 
In the Modern Age James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" is an example of a dream allegory.

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