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According to the English physician and translator Thomas Phaer, it was even the reason behind the plague.
Brutus later explains that Lucius “sleep[s] so sound” (2.1.232) because, unlike himself, he has “no figures, nor no fantasies / Which busy care draws in the brains of men” (2.1.230-231).
Even though Brutus, in his sense of political duty, refers to sleep as a “fault,” he thus expresses his wish to be able to commit such a mistake.
Throughout the play, the sleepiness of Lucius, a character invented by Shakespeare, creates a contrast with Brutus’s insomnia and with the conspirators’ nightly activity.
The association of Brutus with sleeplessness, in turn, is derived from the main source text for the play, Sir Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s , Brutus’s inability to enjoy nocturnal rest is again exhibited when his fellow conspirators visit him in his orchard at night, and Cassius, seemingly conscious of the importance of sleep, begins by wondering whether they might be “too bold upon [Brutus’s] rest” (2.1.86).
It is therefore not surprising that many medical texts tried to provide cures for sleeplessness, and these included soothing the bed with leaves of cool plants, eating lettuce, and using fumigations made of horsehair. Burton wrote that “they that much fast, or want sleep, as melancholy and sicke men commonly doe, they see visions or such as are very timorous by nature, or mad and distracted.” Meanwhile, Petrus Pomarius Valentinus noted that “too much watching is hurthfull to the braine: it doth debilitate and weaken the senses: it doth burne the humors, and is the cause of sharpe diseases: sometimes of frensies, of madnesse, melancholy, and deliriums.” As André du Laurens explained, this was because, in melancholic men, “spirits and blacke vapours continually passe by the sinewes, vaines and arteries, from the braine vnto the eye, which causeth it to see many shadowes and vntrue apparitions in the aire.”, Shakespeare added to the unfolding of Brutus’s tragedy a focus on his growing inability to sleep.
From early on in the play, Brutus’s leadership in the conspiracy against Caesar is associated with an awakening.
This is how the supernatural would have had a lasting impression on them. His use of language has made him the greatest figure in English, and perhaps in any literature.
Shakespeare’s development of style falls into quite a well-defined progression.
En outre, notre article montre que l’insomnie du Roi Lear et la description métaphorique de sa réalité comme une forme de rêve sont constitutives de cette tragédie qui met en scène l’expérience de la souffrance. The themes of sleep, dreams, and false sensory perception, however, also offered great tragic potential, and Shakespeare fully explored this possibility when he dramatised Brutus’s inability to sleep and the nightly appearance of Caesar’s ghost in In both of these plays, the protagonists’ tragic fates are exacerbated by physiological discourses that focus not only on their sleeplessness, but also on their literal or metaphorical waking dreams as both Brutus and Lear come to question their sensory experience and perception.
This is important, because, in early modern medical discourse, waking dreams or hallucinations were in fact seen as symptoms of sleep deficiency, and both ailments were linked to humoral imbalances, as the first section of this article will reveal.