"the thought: 'After all, it's only a dream' while we are still dreaming has the same intention as the one Helen of Troy gives it on the open stage in Offenbach's comic opera"

   Freud refers to a scene in Act II of La Belle Hélène, by German/French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880).  Helen of Troy, finding Paris in her bedchamber, provides him with the perfect excuse for his planned adultery by exclaiming that "Ce n'est qu'un rêve" (It is only a dream).

 

 

La Belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach 

 

Clip from a production at the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, starring Felicity Lott and Yann Beuron, (2001)

 

Online text of the libretto, by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, (first performed 1864)