Perchance to Dream
December, 2008

Last night I had a dream about Shakespeare.
Yes, really…
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Apparently,  I was taking part in some unspecified capacity in a TV quiz show about the poet/playwright.
I've always understood that dreams take place in real time, so, presumably, this one gave me a full half hour of REM.
But this show made no concessions to populist taste. It delved deeply into text and production.
The one question I can remember asked which seventeenth-century production of a Shakespeare play resulted in the necessity to rebuild a town centre.

Both teams knew the answer: apparently a supposed production of a play called Giordano in sixteen-ninety-something. The then lord of the manor in a town in Lincolnshire invoked an ancient Royal Charter, allowing him to sail a galleon up-river to the town centre and discharge its canon 'to encourage the townsfolk'. Said galleon was drawn into the town to stage the play, but the crew was over-enthusiastic, and much of the town centre was destroyed.
Both of the quiz teams even vied with other to offer quotes from the play.
And that’s all I can remember.
The only problem is that, as far as I know, this is all rubbish. I have vaguely heard the name Giordano, but it's certainly not a Shakespeare play. Was Romeo's original name something similar? I don't remember.
Now, I know dreams are often the result of the brain working through real-life situations, but aren't they mostly of being chased by tigers or getting trapped in a dark cave in the middle of a forest. But a Shakespeare quiz?! How did my mind make all that up? We did go to see Macbeth a few weeks ago, and it set me thinking about the author's vocabulary, but it's hard to see that as the genesis for all this.
I even dreamt through thirty or forty lines of seemingly-authentic Shakespearean verse. But, although I can't remember any of it now, I can't believe that I made it all up during the dream. I couldn't invent even one decent line in my waking hours.
So, what do I make of all this? All I can do is offer a genuine quote from Shakespeare:
there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.