Dreams In The Odyssey

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What are dreams designed to do? How do we dream? Do they even mean anything? These are questions people may contemplate when they wake in the morning after encountering a series of thoughts, images, and sensations that occurred during their sleep. Every person in the world – big or small, rich or poor – has drifted off and dreamt at some point in their life. Many of these people ignore what occupied their minds that night, continue on with their day, and forget what the dream was even about by mid-afternoon. However, there are others that take dreaming to the next level. Sigmund Freud is one of the most famous people in history who used their curiosity to try to find out what the purpose of dreaming is and what they are all about. Since his …show more content…
They strongly believed that dreams are symbolic and were always interpreting them. In fact, their society relied on dreams so heavily that they separated them into three categories: visions of what will occur, symbolic interpretation dreams, and visitations by gods, ghosts, or friends (Kamil, 2014). Freud believed that dreams are filled with symbols and they contain wish-fulfillment, and one Ancient Greek dream in particular follows this belief. In Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope is waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to come home from war (Kamil, 2014). In the meantime, there are fifty suitors that live in her house and they “eat-up” her husband’s wealth” (Kamil, 2014). She has a dream one night where fifty geese are killed by an eagle, which later reveals itself to be Odysseus (Kamil, 2014). There are many symbols in this dream (for example, the geese represent the suitors), and the dream is also wish-fulfilling because Penelope wants the suitors killed and for her husband to come home (Kamil, 2014). These Ancient Greek beliefs in Penelope’s dream are analogous to what Freud believed because he also said that dreams contain symbols and wish-fulfillment. Another component of dreaming that Freud discussed is that they are caused by external stimuli. In Ancient Greece, one type of dream that would occur was when where there were visitations from gods, ghosts, or friends. According to researcher Lee T. Pearcy (n.d.) at University College London, this type of dream was also believed to be “caused by external factors, such as gods, ghosts, or demons”. These beliefs also line up with Freud’s since they both thought that dreams were a result of external elements. The third aspect of Freud’s dream theory was that they are mostly based on hidden sexual desires. In the second century A.D, Artemidorus of Ephesus wrote a five-book dream interpretation guide (Attalus, 2015). In the first book, he spends

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