Bergman's Dreams: Some notes


  • Paul Coates



ABSTRACT: The centrality of dreams to Ingmar Bergman’s oeuvre has been noted so frequently that no single article could engage properly with the extensive literature on the topic. This article therefore considers only some aspects of the role they play at several points in his career. Its main hermeneutic contention is that even apparently realistic surfaces often have resonances acquired through implicit use of such tropes of “dreamwork” as condensation, displacement and, of course, symbolization. Thus in Dreams such frames within the frame as a portrait and a window open up onto the oneiric; in Wild Strawberries, dreams are involved in the extensive doubling characteristic of the Expressionism also central to Bergman’s work; the oneirism of Persona may be illuminated not only by the obvious comparison with Edvard Munch, but also with Greek vase imagery; while Shame identifies the evaporation of dreams as one of humanity itself.




How to Cite

Coates, P. (2011). Bergman’s Dreams: Some notes. Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, 20, 62–71.