The origin of dream interpretation is unknown. Some of the earliest examples of dreams being interpreted was in the bible. Joseph interpreted dreams in the bible of two persons, a cupbearer and a baker:
"...the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt who were confined in the jail both had dreams on the same night, each dream with its own meaning. When Joseph came to them in the morning , he noticed that they looked disturbed. So he asked Pharaoh's courtiers who were with him in custody in his master's house, 'Why do you look so sad today?' They answered him, 'We have had dreams, but there is no one to interpret them for us.' Joseph said to them, 'Surely, interpretations come from God. Please tell the dreams to me." (Genesis 40:5-8)
In fact, this interpretation by Joseph had a tremendous impact on not only Egypt, but the future of dream interpretations.
A little later on, Greek philosophers further bettered dream analysis. The most famous of these Greek philosophers was Aristotle. He spoke of the illusion of 'sense-perception', the malfunctioning of the senses which allows dreams to occur. Aristotle later suggested that dreams are formed by disturbances of the body.
Not until that mid 19th century did another philosopher as great as Aristotle come along. A man by the name of Sigmund Freud truly revolutionized the study of dreams. He believed that the analysis of dreams was a very useful and powerful tool in uncovering unconscious thoughts and desires. Freud also believed that "the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges unacceptable. "