1. Does this resemble other books you have read? Any written prior to 1858? Afterwards? Any Scottish novels or tales? (e. g. James Hogg) Do you see a relationship between Phantases and the tradition of Gothic and supernatural fiction?
  2. Can you see ways in which MacDonald was influenced by the Romantic movement?
  3. Do you see parallels between Phantases and Butler's Erewhon? Morris's News from Nowhere?
  4. Can you see some elements which would prompt a Freudian, Jungian or other form of psychological reading of this work? (anima figure 44-45)
  5. Is Phantases an allegory, and if so, of what?
  6. What is the narrator's dream? In what time period does the fantastic world exist? (Arthurian, 25)
  7. What are some other characteristics of this world and its preoccupations? (life/death)
  8. What attitudes toward sexuality are conveyed by this romance?
  9. If you didn't know from outside sources, how could you tell that this book was written during the 19th century?
  10. What is the purpose of the Cosimo interlude? Does the story suggest that perfect love may kill the lover? Do you see parallels with Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallott"?
  11. Do you agree with C. S. Lewis that this tale is myth rather than literature? What may he have meant by this claim?
  12. What function is served by the songs? (MacDonald was also a poet)