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A Dream Within a Dream

A Dream Within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

Philosophical Viewpoints: Skepticism Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Thus much let me avow— (3)

"Avow" is an important word here. The speaker wishes to make a strong declaration of fact, which suggests that he wants to be certain, rather than skeptical, about something.

Quote #2

You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream (4-5)

The speaker doesn't say that the woman is right, only that she is not wrong. The speaker seems unwilling to accept the skeptical position that life is all a big dream. There's a wee bit of hesitation there.

Quote #3

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream (10-11)

The speaker sure seems pretty convinced that life is just a dream within a dream. But skepticism is supposed to be about uncertainty, so this doesn't seem so skeptical to us. Can you really be certain about uncertainty?

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