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Research Interests

Claude Fretz is Associate Professor of English literature at Sun Yat-sen University (China), where he specialises in Shakespeare and early modern literature. His profile can be viewed at:

He is also Associate Fellow of the research and doctoral training centre 'European Dream-Cultures' at Saarland University (Germany). Claude is the author of the monograph Dreams, Sleep, and Shakespeare’s Genres (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and of various articles and book chapters on Shakespeare, representations of dreams and sleep in Renaissance literature, and Restoration drama. His PhD is from the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.



In recognition of his work, Claude has received a number of prestigious awards, including a Mercator Fellowship, an Associate Fellowship at Saarland University, and research funding from various sources in the UK, China, and Europe.

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 will be co-organising a major 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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