Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dreaming in Shakespeare (A Continuing Series)

I love it when you're so deeply involved with something that you start dreaming it.  This often happens to people in my day job (writing software) where you spend so much of your waking time thinking in code that you dream in code.  It is amazing.  That reinforcement that you're so intensely focused on a subject that even your subconscious has gone that way?  Great feeling.

Even more so when a Shakespeare dream shows up!

I've blogged about this phenomenon before (here in 2005, here in 2010 and here in 2012).  Here's the latest installment in this series:

It's late, it's snowing, and I'm out on my back porch when I clearly hear what sounds like someone reciting Shakespeare.  I try to place the sound and I see my neighbor walking around his yard (his back to me), definitely speaking what, in my dream, I recognize as "the crowd scene from Romeo and Juliet."  Suddenly my neighbor turns around and I realize that he appears to be snowblowing his front yard (yes, his front yard, not his driveway or something) and speaking on a bluetooth headset to someone at the same time (while it is snowing).  The snowblower is not making any noise, all I can hear is Shakespeare.  He then wraps up with some sort of professorial something or other and I realize that he's been presenting on some sort of conference call.  Shortly after, I wake up.
Upon waking my first thought is to capture what scene that was, but it's too late - it's already gone.  This is one of the most fascinating aspects of dreaming to me, that I never dream in specifics.  If I'm reading a book in a dream?  I'll have the knowledge that I'm reading a book, but I never get specifics about seeing the words on the page.  Same here.  I have a very strong memory still of hearing my neighbor reciting what I clearly recognized as Romeo and Juliet, but for me to say "It was probably the opening where the Prince disperses the crowd" would be me trying to fit the dream to what I know to be the text, rather than any direct evidence that this was the scene.

My second thought is to wonder, "Ok, did I somehow hear some Shakespeare in my sleep and my brain inserted that into a dream?"  I fall asleep with headphones (typically listening to the Pandora streaming service).  But that hasn't happened -- I put the phone in "airplane mode" during the middle of the night so I don't stream music all night long that I can't listen to.  My nightstand radio is not on, although it would be awesome if I had a device that randomly played Shakespeare without me telling it to.

So, I have no idea where this particular dream came from.  I was speaking to that neighbor yesterday so that probably explains his presence.  But everything else?  No idea.

This year's Shakespeare Day Celebration is sponsored in part by Shakespeare Is Universal: Shakespeare truly is for everyone, and nothing demonstrates that sentiment better than his most famous quote of all, translated here into languages from around the world.   In celebration of Shakespeare's birthday, show that you believe his works are just as relevant, powerful and important as they've ever been!


amd5gg said...

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!!

PMcC said...

I will definitely incorporate songs and TV shows I hear while sleeping into my dreams. To dream in Shakespeare is a gift, truly. Maybe your unconscious mind feels the need to solve some Shakespearean problem you are experiencing in real life. Have you murthered any monarchs lately?