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The Sleep of Reason Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sleep of Reason.
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Repression and Fear

The characters of The Sleep of Reason can be divided into two categories: repressors and the repressed. The repressors are both real and unreal. The real repressors are King Ferdinand VII, Calomarde, and the soldiers of the Royal Volunteers. They are engaged in the same project: intimidation of the Spanish populace to force political compliance. Methods of intimidation include banishments, beatings, and executions. While Calomarde is clearly evil in machination, the soldiers are evil in practice. Calomarde wants Goya hanged for insulting the king in a private letter to a friend and the soldiers break in and loot Goya's home, beat and humiliate him, and rape Goya's mistress. The king's depravity is far more subtle, primarily because others execute his orders while he speaks quietly and embroiders flowers (somewhat like the archenemy stroking a white cat in a James Bond film). Ferdinand masterminds the plan to...

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This section contains 806 words
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Drama for Students
The Sleep of Reason from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.