An analysis of the topic of the nightmare experiences

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An analysis of the topic of the nightmare experiences

Description[ edit ] The Nightmare simultaneously offers both the image of a dream—by indicating the effect of the nightmare on the woman—and a dream image—in symbolically portraying the sleeping vision.


She is surmounted by an incubus that peers out at the viewer. The sleeper seems lifeless and, lying on her back, takes a position then believed to encourage nightmares.

The interior is contemporary and fashionable and contains a small table on which rests a mirror, phialand book.

Teachartwiki - The Nightmare--Henry Fuseli

The room is hung with red velvet curtains which drape behind the bed. Emerging from a parting in the curtain is the head of a horse with bold, featureless eyes. For contemporary viewers, The Nightmare invoked the relationship of the incubus and the horse mare to nightmares.

The work was likely inspired by the waking dreams experienced by Fuseli and his contemporaries, who found that these experiences related to folkloric beliefs like the Germanic tales about demons and witches that possessed people who slept alone. In these stories, men were visited by horses or hagsgiving rise to the terms "hag-riding" and "mare-riding", and women were believed to engage in sex with the devil.

Rather, the word is derived from maraa Scandinavian mythological term referring to a spirit sent to torment or suffocate sleepers.

The early meaning of "nightmare" included the sleeper's experience of weight on the chest combined with sleep paralysisdyspneaor a feeling of dread. Fuseli's knowledge of art history was broad, allowing critics to propose sources for the painting's elements in antique, classical, and Renaissance art.

According to art critic Nicholas Powell, the woman's pose may derive from the Vatican Ariadneand the style of the incubus from figures at Selinuntean archaeological site in Sicily.

Its presence in the painting has been viewed as a visual pun on the word "nightmare" and a self-conscious reference to folklore—the horse destabilises the painting's conceit and contributes to its Gothic tone.

It remained well-known decades later, and Fuseli painted other versions on the same theme. Fuseli sold the original for twenty guineasand an inexpensive engraving by Thomas Burke circulated widely beginning in Januaryearning publisher John Raphael Smith more than pounds.

Darwin included these lines and expanded upon them in his long poem The Loves of the Plantsfor which Fuseli provided the frontispiece: O'er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet, Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet; In vain to scream with quivering lips she tries, And strains in palsy'd lids her tremulous eyes; In vain she wills to run, fly, swim, walk, creep; The Will presides not in the bower of Sleep.

Contemporary critics often found the work scandalous due to its sexual themes. Landholdt was the niece of his friend, the Swiss physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater.

Fuseli wrote of his fantasies to Lavater in ; "Last night I had her in bed with me—tossed my bedclothes hugger-mugger—wound my hot and tight-clasped hands about her—fused her body and soul together with my own—poured into her my spirit, breath and strength.

An analysis of the topic of the nightmare experiences

Anyone who touches her now commits adultery and incest! She is mine, and I am hers. And have her I will. The Nightmare, then, can be seen as a personal portrayal of the erotic aspects of love lost. Janson suggests that the sleeping woman represents Landholdt and that the demon is Fuseli himself.

Bolstering this claim is an unfinished portrait of a girl on the back of the painting's canvas, which may portray Landholdt. Anthropologist Charles Stewart characterises the sleeping woman as "voluptuous," [5] and one scholar of the Gothic describes her as lying in a "sexually receptive position.

This is supported by Fuseli's sexually overt and even pornographic private drawings e. The Royal Academy exhibition brought Fuseli and his painting enduring fame. The exhibition included Shakespeare-themed works by Fuseli, which won him a commission to produce eight paintings for publisher John Boydell 's Shakespeare Gallery.

In another example, admiral Lord Nelson is the demon, and his mistress Emma, Lady Hamiltonthe sleeper. Mareridt which develops on the eroticism of Fuseli's work.

Abildgaard's painting shows two naked women asleep in the bed; it is the woman in the foreground who is experiencing the nightmare and the incubus—which is crouched on the woman's stomach, facing her parted legs—has its tail nestling between her exposed breasts. The other important canvas was painted between and and is held at the Goethe Museum in Frankfurt.

The demon is looking at the woman rather than out of the picture, and it has pointed, catlike ears. The most significant difference in the remaining two versions is an erotic statuette of a couple on the table.

Shelley would have been familiar with the painting; her parents, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwinknew Fuseli.Sample Personal Experience Essays.

What is a Causal Analysis Essay?

I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing uncontrollably from a terrible nightmare. Though I couldn't remember the dream, I came to a profound realization.

superior essay. Each of the three parts of the topic is covered and . The Nightmare is a oil painting by Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli. It shows a woman in deep sleep with her arms thrown below her, and with a demonic and apelike incubus crouched on her chest.

The painting's dreamlike and haunting erotic evocation of infatuation and obsession was a . Descriptive Analysis This particular version of The Nightmare — the first of several — is an oil painting on canvas by Henry Fuseli.

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An analysis of the topic of the nightmare experiences

words. Nightmares are defined as disturbing mental experiences that generally occur during REM sleep and often result in awakening. Nightmare frequency and nightmare topics in a representative German sample especially in adults.

The present study investigated nightmare frequency and the frequency of various nightmare topics in a representative.

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