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The Dream of Morpheus: A Character Study of Narrative Power in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman


  • Astrid Dock

Summary, in English

This essay is primarily focused on the ambiguity surrounding Morpheus’ death in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. There is a divide in the character that is not reconciled within the comic: whether or not Morpheus is in control of the events that shape his death. Shakespeare scholars who have examined the series will have Morpheus in complete control of the narrative because of the similarities he shares with the character of Prospero. Yet the opposite argument, that Morpheus is a prisoner of Gaiman’s narrative, is enabled when he is compared to Milton’s Satan. There is sufficient evidence to support both readings. However, there is far too little material reconciling these two opposite interpretations of Morpheus’ character. The aim of this essay is therefore to discuss these narrative themes concerning Morpheus. Rather than Shakespeare’s Prospero and Milton’s Satan serving metonymic relationships with Morpheus, they should be respectively viewed as foils to further the ambiguous characterisation of the protagonist. With this reading, Morpheus becomes a character simultaneously devoid of, and personified by, narrative power.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Neil Gaiman Sandman Narrative Milton Shakespeare Tempest Satan Graphic novel


  • Kiki Lindell