Onely proper unto man: dreaming and being human in the renaissance

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In his 1631 translation of Gulielmus Adolphus Scribonius’ work Rerum naturalium doctrina methodica, Daniel Widdowes wrote, ‘All Creatures are reasonable, or unreasonable. They which want reason, are Beasts, who live on Land or in Water.’ This perception of the absolute difference of human from animal comes from classical sources and persists not only in the ways in which thinkers understood the place of humanity in the early modern period, but also - albeit in more debated form - remains important today. Man (and it usually was man) is the thinking being; this is where the superiority of the species comes from.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading the early modern dream: the terrors of the night
EditorsS J Wiseman, Katherine Hodgkin, Michelle O'Callaghan
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture


  • human
  • dreaming
  • literature
  • dream theory


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