"the madness of the dream may not be without method, may perhaps be only a pretence, like that of the Prince of Denmark"

   A reference to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (circa-1600), in which a troubled young royal feigns or exaggerates madness as part of a plot to avenge his father’s murder.  Freud follows this brief allusion with a much deeper analysis of Hamlet later in the text, undermining any dismissal of the prince's madness as mere ‘pretence’ (see page 204). 

 

Online text of the play at ‘MaximumEdge.com