Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Languages and Cultures

First Advisor

Beate Allert

Committee Chair

Beate Allert

Committee Member 1

Frederick Burwick

Committee Member 2

Shaun Hughes

Committee Member 3

Jennifer William


When reading Ludwig Tieck's texts the reader becomes aware that dreams, the unconscious, and art play a key role. This study seeks to posit that Ekphrasis and dream interpretation are similar due to both analyzing a visual image and attempting to translate the visual into the verbal in order to gain a better and more complete understanding of it. G.E. Lessing believed that poetry and the visual arts were equal since each art form has its own strengths and when combined they create a complete art form. The artist focuses on portraying a single moment and its beauty so that when it is viewed it overwhelms the senses of the viewers. The poet is unable to achieve the same in words, since the poem is temporal and therefore unable to flood the senses of the viewer at once. However, a poem is superior at another level since it can go beyond the single moment. A poem describes everything that has led up to the single moment depicted on the canvas and what will follow. "The liberty to extend his description over that which preceded and that which followed the single moment represented in the work of art; and the power of showing not only what the artist shows, but also that which the artist must leave to the imagination. Only by means of this liberty and power can the poet again raise himself to equality with the artist" (Lessing, Laocoön, trans. McCormick, 99). I will show on hand of Ludwig Tieck's texts Franz Sternblads Wanderungen, "Die Gemaelde," "Die Freunde," "Die Elfen," "Der Runenberg," "Liebeszauber," and "Das alte Buch und die Reise ins Blaue hinein" that Ekphrasis and dream interpretations are essential for gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the visual and dream image, and that by doing so, it will result in new readings of and insights into Tieck's texts. Furthermore, this study will demonstrate that Tieck made major contributions to Ekphrasis studies by integrating notional, dynamic, and static prose ekphrasis into his fictional works and thus should play a more important role in the current Ekphrasis debate.