Page 181. " As who should say: it is the nightingale and not the lark. For if it is the lark, our night of love is at an end "

    A paraphrasing of Juliet's lines from Act III Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1590s), confusing day with night as she urges her lover to stay longer than is safe:

Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:  

It was the nightingale, and not the lark,         

That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;  


   By casting the conscious and unconscious aspects of a sleeper's mind in the twin roles of Shakespeare's young lovers, Freud suggests that the wish-fulfilling fantasies of dreams allow us to indulge in an ongoing love affair with ourselves (See note to page 149).


Online text of the play at


Page 185. " the product of my expectoration lands on one of the steps. For there is no spittoon "



   Spittoons became a popular public facility in parts of America and Europe from the mid-19th century until the early-20th, providing heavy tobacco users with an alternative to spitting on the floor as Freud admits to doing here.  They went out of fashion as the popularity of cigarettes, and orally communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, became more widely spread.

Page 187. " It has, of course, become the basis of a fairy-tale familair to us all in the version by Hans Anderson "

   The tale of a vain ruler humiliated by the promise of an outfit invisible to all who are unworthy appears in many versions around the world, definitively retold as The Emperor's New Clothes by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875). 


Online text of Anderson's 'The Emperor's New Clothes', translated by Jean Hersholt, (1837)


Page 188. " this childhood where shame is absent appears to us as a paradise, and Paradise itself is nothing but the mass fantasy of the childhood of the individual "

    'Paradise' as in the Garden of Eden, where the biblical Book of Genesis depicts the first man and woman living in, and falling from, a state of divine innocence.  Here Freud boldly states that the Judao-Christian creation scripture is no more than a 'mass fantasy', recalling only the personal fall from innocence each person experiences as they leave childhood.  His perception of organised religion as a form of comforting but ultimately crippling mass-neurosis would be more comprehensively explored in later works.


Online edition of the King James Version 'Book of Genesis', at


Online edition of Freud's 'Civilisation and its Discontents', translated by James Strachey, (originally published 1930)


Page 190. " the dream externalized in the legend of Nausicaa "

   In Book VI of ancient Greek epic The Odyssey, the shipwrecked wanderer Odysseus finds himself stark naked in front of a group of young girls including Nausicaa, the beautiful princess of Phaecia whom he begs for aid. 

Green Heinrich is a semi-autobiographical novel by Swiss writer Gottfried Keller (1818-1890), chronicling the youthful misadventures of one Heinrich Lee. 


Online edition of Homer's 'Odyssey', as translated by Samuel Butler, (circa 800 BC)


The Odyssey on Book Drum

Page 192. " not dead as we conceive the dead, but are like the shades in the Odyssey who wake to a kind of life once they have drunk blood "

    A reference to Book XI of ancient Greek epic The Odyssey, in which the wandering hero consults the spirits of the dead, who take on traits and memories from their lives only when allowed to drink from a trench of blood.


Online edition of Homer's 'Odyssey', as translated by Samuel Butler, (circa 800 BC)


The Odyssey on Book Drum

Page 195. " as if the child were drawn by the same combination of ideas as moved the ancients to picture the psyche with butterflies' wings "

   In classical myth, Psyche (soul) is a young girl who suffers many hardships at the hands of a jealous goddess before finally ascending to immortality, mirroring the transformation of the butterfly which she is often depicted as partly resembling.  This version of the myth is told in Books Four to Six of Lucius Apuleius' 2nd century novel Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass.


Online edition of Apuleius' 'Metamorphoses', as translated by William Adlington, (1566)


Online collection of myth and literature regarding Psyche at  


Page 196. " That undiscovered country from whose bourne | No traveller returns "

   Lines from William Shakespeare's Hamlet:


                          Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death, 

The undiscovered country from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all

Act III, Scene 1


Online text of the play at ‘

Page 197. " the greater part of mankind put themselves above the Fourth Commandment "

    A reference to one of the 'Ten Commandments' Moses receives from the Hebrew God on Mount Sinai/Horeb in the biblical Book of Exodus:

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee

Although Catholics and Lutherans follow St. Augustine of Hippo in reading this commandment as number four, in the order maintained by some Christian denominations and all followers of Judaism it gets bumped to fifth place.


Online text of the King James version 'Book of Exodus' at


Page 197. " Cronos devours his children, rather as the boar devours the mother-sow's farrow, and Zeus castrates his father and takes his place "

   In Greek myth, Cronus was foremost amongst the Titans, an intermediate race of rulers who preceded the classical Greek gods.  It is not Zeus as Freud claims but Cronus who castrates his father Uranus in seizing power, at the behest of his mother Gaia.  Freud later observed and analysed his error, alongside several others from the same work Cronus goes on to devour each of his immortal children as they are born, to ward off a similar fate, which he ultimately meets at the hands of his youngest son.  Zeus wins freedom and maturity through the same violent rite of passage as his father, but without resorting to his barbaric measures.















Online collection of myth and literature regarding Cronus at ''


Online edition of Freud's 'Psychopathology of Everyday Life', as translated by A.A. Brill, (1901)

Page 197. " the dreadfully antiquated potestas patris familias "

   The legally enforced controlling authority held by a pater familias, the male leader of a Roman family, over its members and property.  At least in theory such a patriarch held the same powers over and responsibilities towards his family as the emperor bore over and towards Rome itself.  Appropriately for Freud's theories, children of such a family could not attain the role themselves until after their father's death.