Judge Bao, Hamlet and Dupin
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This thesis compares the effects of the supernatural in solving crime cases in Yuan-Ming courtroom dramas and early Western detective fiction. Focusing on three Judge Bao courtroom dramas and incorporating analysis of the detective elements in Hamlet with Edgar Allan Poe’s trio of Dupin tales, divergent treatments of the paranormal are explored. Taking dreams and dreaming a point of entry, the thesis delineates how workings of the extramundane provide critical information for different investigators. Despite differences in the function of supernatural revelation in traditional Chinese and European cultural ideologies, the conjunction of dreaming and detection provide new insights into correspondences across distinct literary traditions.