Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dreaming It Up



"A Midsummer Night's Dream" toys with the mystery of what actually happens as we sleep.

HERMIA
Help me, Lysander, help me; do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.
Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.

In verse, Shakespeare has written a chilling speech that has the girl's heart pounding when she attempts to find reality. Was there a snake? Am I awake or asleep?

Who of us has not experienced a similar jolt after waking from a frightening dream? Sometimes my body is in a state of paralysis, followed by a painful thaw as I search for my bearings.

Many of the characters in the play struggle to know which way is up as they are sent reeling through a forest on a hot summer's night.


Did Titania really fall in love with a donkey? Did Lysander really awake enamored of Helena? Do fairies exist?

Every Wednesday I pick Henry up at another school to join us at Shakespeare Club. I look forward to the drive, when the two of us catch up on events of the past week.

"Ms. Ryane, I'm reading a really great book that's helping me in my life," Henry announced as we buckled up.

"What's the book and how is it helping you, Henry?"

"It's called 'The Boy Who Would Be King' and it helps me with my little brother, who gets kinda crazy and hits me and stuff. So, like, in the book, when bad stuff happens, the boy just walks away and stuff."


"Oh, you mean like putting up a wall or talking to the hand?"

"Yeah."

"That can work."

"Oh, and Ms. Ryane, I had this wild dream."

"What was that?"

"Well, I was dreaming that...like, I couldn't tell if I was watching this or if I was in it but it was Hamlet and...oh yeah...like, the ghost came and then it was me seeing the ghost and it was telling me to follow him but then the ghost was my dad."

"You mean your real dad? Your dad who lives far away?"

"Yeah, like my real dad and I was like Hamlet."

"Well you're doing what real actors do. That's called identifying with the character. Pretty cool."

And there we were. Which way is up? A boy dreams of a ghost dad who lives across an ocean. A boy who would be king.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
My nightmare was about my family sleeping and a few robbers sneakin in our house. I woke up and tried to tell my family that robbers were in the house but they didn't believe me and I had magic powers so I tried to carry my family.

I also had a dream of me going to school and coming back in front of our house but our house turns to be not their anymore a total different one. So we go in and many monsters and robbers are in their so we run out and try to find our home and our mom but we never do.
Celia, 5th grade

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