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    United Kingdom


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Personal profile

Research Interests

Claude Fretz is Research Fellow in the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, and Associate Fellow of the research and doctoral training centre 'European Dream-Cultures' at Saarland University in Germany. He is the author of the monograph Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare’s Genres (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and of several articles and book chapters on Shakespeare, representations of dreams and sleep in Renaissance literature, and Restoration drama. Before coming to Queen’s, he was a Teaching Associate in early modern literature at the University of Birmingham. He completed his fully-funded PhD research on dreams and sleep in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute.


Before joining Queen's as a Research Fellow, Claude taught widely across the early modern period in the University of Birmingham's English Department and at the Shakespeare Institute. He has also taught Victorian fiction, medieval literature, eighteenth-century poetry, and literary theory.


Claude read English at Royal Holloway, where he graduated with first-class honours and was awarded the Gertrude Schryver Prize as well as various external scholarships. He then went on to study for the MA in ‘Shakespeare in History’ (awarded with distinction) at University College London, for which he was also awarded external graduate scholarships. His PhD research at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute was fully funded through a College of Arts and Law doctoral scholarship.

In 2018, Claude was awarded a Mercator Fellowship by Saarland University in recognition of his work on dreams and sleep.

Research Statement

Claude is the author of Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare's Genres (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). This book explores how Shakespeare uses images of dreams and sleep to define his dramatic worlds. Surveying Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories, and late plays, it argues that Shakespeare systematically exploits early modern physiological, religious, and political understandings of dreams and sleep in order to reshape conventions of dramatic genre, and to experiment with dream-inspired plots. The book discusses the significance of dreams and sleep in early modern culture, and explores the dramatic opportunities that this offered to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It also offers new insights into how Shakespeare adapted earlier literary models of dreams and sleep – including those found in classical drama, in medieval dream visions, and in native English dramatic traditions.

In 2021, he is co-organising an international and interdisciplinary conference on ‘Dreams and the Animal Kingdom in Culture and Aesthetic Media’.

From 2017-2020, Claude worked on the research project 'Performing Restoration Shakespeare', funded by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council. This project combined archival research with research-led creative practice (performance-as-research) to investigate how Restoration adaptations of Shakespeare used to be performed and how they can be performed for audiences today.

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Research Output

'Full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams': Dreams and Tragedy in Shakespeare’s Richard III

Fretz, C., Apr 2017, In : Cahiers Elisabethains. 92, 1, p. 32-49 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 714 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • Performing Restoration Shakespeare: Dr Claude Fretz (Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast) explains how Shakespeare’s plays found new life on the Restoration stage…

    Fretz, C., 30 Jun 2017, Shakespeare's Globe Blog [].

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    Open Access


    Mercator Fellowship

    Fretz, Claude (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    College of Arts and Law Doctoral Scholarship

    Fretz, Claude (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Gertrude Schryver Prize

    Fretz, Claude (Recipient), 2010

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Scholarship for Doctoral Study

    Fretz, Claude (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Scholarship for MA English: Shakespeare in History

    Fretz, Claude (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    • 5 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
    • 3 Invited talk
    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Visiting an external academic institution

    Literature and the Reading Public

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    Jan 2018 → …

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Graduate College 'European Dream-Cultures'

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    Nov 2018 → …

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Saarland University

    Claude Fretz (Advisor)

    Nov 2018Dec 2018

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

    Scholar-artist workshop on Davenant's Macbeth

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    Aug 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Oxford-Globe Forum for Medicine and Drama in Practice

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    02 Dec 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course



    Restoration Shakespeare Summer School

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    Impact: Cultural Impact

    Davenant's Macbeth at the Folger Theatre

    Claude Fretz (Participant)

    Impact: Cultural Impact, Economic Impact