The Terrors of the Night  

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"In The Terrors of the Night (1594), Thomas Nashe launched an effort to discredit dream divination, thanking God that he had never had the patience to read 'Artimidorus, Synesius, & Cardan'—notorious defenders of supernatural and vatic ...--Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare’s Genres (2020) by Claude Fretz

The Terrors of the Night; Or A Discourse of Apparitions (1594) is a book by Thomas Nashe.

The book sceptically considers dreams, nightmares, and apparitions, which Nashe considers born of superstition, melancholy or imagination. He says, "A dream is nothing else but a bubbling scum or froth of the fancy which the day hath left undigested, or an after-feast made of the fragments of idle imagination". He dismisses efforts to interpret dreams, saying "What sense is there that the yolk of an egg should signify gold… that everything must be interpreted backward as Witches say their pater-noster, good being the character of bad, and bad of good." He disregards various spirits mentioning "Robbin-good-fellowes, elves, fairies, hobgoblins". He does, however, see some possible value in visions (not dreams) that are heaven-sent, including the visions of Caesar and Alexander. Correspondence can be seen between the rationalism expressed in Act 5 of Shakespeare’s play Midsummer Night’s Dream and the ideas expressed in The Terrors of the Night; for example when Theseus in the play describes "the poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling" and Nashe describes the constant "wheeling and rolling on of our braines".

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