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Title: Dream-visions in Boccaccio and Petrarch
Author: Todd, Sarah Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 8235
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Dream-visions formed an integral part of literature since the Ancient Greek period, with discussions about their prophetic and revelatory value appearing alongside poetry, prose, and autobiographical accounts of visions. By the Middle Ages the popularity of the oneiric form reached a new height. This thesis examines the presence of dream-visions in three works from the fourteenth century: Boccaccio’s Amorosa visione and Corbaccio, and Petrarch’s Triumphi. It looks specifically at the ways in which the two authors drew upon existing oneiric sources in the composition of their own texts. Chapter 1 contextualises the thesis. It examines the different models of dream-vision texts which would have been available to Boccaccio and Petrarch when composing their oneiric narratives, and looks at the specific terminology used to describe dreams and their varying functions within biblical, fictional, and philosophical writings. This in turn helps to establish a set of conventions for dream-vision literature, which Boccaccio and Petrarch would have been able consciously to employ (or not) within their own texts. Chapter 2 examines the ways in which Boccaccio and Petrarch discuss and use dreams and visions within their non-dream-vision texts. It looks not only at their fictional dream-visions, but also at autobiographical and philosophical works written by the authors on the subject of dreaming, the presence of visions within their respective poems and prose, and discussions within their texts regarding the specific terminology one should use to discuss different types of dream experience. Chapter 3 considers the ways in which Boccaccio experiments with form and structure within the Amorosa visione, and the impact this has upon the resulting dream-vision text. It looks specifically at the use of the spirit-guide motif and Boccaccio’s unusual employment of the framing dream. Similarly, Chapter 4 looks at the various ways Petrarch deviates from the established norms of the dream-vision traditions within his Triumphi by employing multiple and simultaneous visions within a single text. In Chapter 5 Boccaccio’s Corbaccio is examined in the context of various literary traditions. The chapter considers how Boccaccio engages with his predecessors in the creation of his dream-vision text, and the ways in which he combines various literary elements in order to create a work which is both innovative and reliant on the encyclopaedic knowledge of oneiric works he possesses. In the conclusion the findings from each chapter are drawn together to present a view of the Amorosa visione, Triumphi, and Corbaccio as works which are simultaneously rooted in established traditions while at the same time testing the boundaries of the very genres to which they belong.
Supervisor: Richardson, Brian F. ; Treherne, Matthew Sponsor: Leeds Centre for Dante Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available