Shakespeare Dream Quotes

Shakespeare Dream Quotes by Kelly BulkeleyIn honor of the April 26, 1564 baptism of William Shakespeare and his death on April 23, 1616, I have gathered a few of the best quotes about dreams from characters in his plays.  Let me know if you’ve got other good ones!

 

Prospero: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

The Tempest, IV.i.156-158

 

“All days are nights to see till I see thee/And nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.”

Sonnet 43, 13-14

 

Gloucester: “My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.”

Duchess: “What dreamed my lord? Tell me, and I’ll requite it with sweet rehearsal of my morning’s dream.”

Henry VI, Part II, I.ii.22-24

 

Romeo: “I dreamt a dream tonight.”

Mercutio: “And so did I.”

Romeo: “Well, what was yours?”

Mercutio: “That dreamers often lie.”

Romeo: “In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.”

Mercutio: “Oh, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.  She is the fairies’ midwife…”

Romeo and Juliet, I.iv.52-58

 

Horatio: “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!”

Hamlet: “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.  There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Hamlet, I.v.164-167

Shakespeare Dream Quotes by Kelly Bulkeley

Hamlet: “To die, to sleep–No more–and by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.  ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.  To die, to sleep–To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.”

Hamlet, III.i.60-68

 

Puck: “If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumber’d here, while these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream.”

Midsummer Night’s Dream, V.i.425-430

 

Here’s a link to the search page for the OpenSource Shakespeare website, where you can type in “dream” and find all references to dreaming in Shakespeare’s works.

 

 

 

 

Animals in Dreams

Animals in Dreams by Kelly BulkeleyBelow is the section on animal dreams from my video talk for the IASD Australian Regional Conference held last week in Sydney.  I would be very interested in hearing from people whose dreams include types of animals NOT mentioned in my findings, to help us develop an even broader sense of oneiro-zoology (yes that’s a made up word!).

 

Animals: I searched the SDDb for many different types of animal-related words, but I’m sure I missed some, so this is an area needing improvement.  What I found in this study [of 2087 total dreams, 1232 female and 855 male] was 16% of the female reports and 14% of the male reports including at least one animal reference.  Consistent with what previous researchers have found, the children’s dreams in my sample have a higher percentage of animal references (24% for the girls, 20% for the boys).  Does this mean children are “closer” to nature than adults?  Perhaps.  It does seem that a higher proportion of animals in children’s dreams (or should we say a diminished proportion of animals in modern Western adults’ dreams?) is a stable pattern across many studies.

The animals that appeared most often were, in order, dogs, cats, horses, bears, fish, snakes, birds, and insects.  The first three—dogs, cats, and horses—are among the most familiar domestic animals.  Bears are NOT domestic animals, and they actually appear most often to be aggressive, threatening creatures in dreams.  Among different types of fish, sharks appear frequently like bears, as frightening predators, putting the dreamer in the harrowing position of prey, the hunted.  In other dreams, however, ocean dwelling creatures like whales and dolphins reveal an amazing intelligence that teaches the dreamer something new about the natural world.

Dreaming of Nature and the Nature of Dreams

Dreaming of Nature and the Nature of Dreams by Kelly BulkeleyThe First Australian Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams starts on April 19, and I have prepared a video talk for the conference titled “Dreaming of Nature and the Nature of Dreams.”  The talk can be found on Youtube, and the statistical data I reference can be found in Google docs.  More info about the IASD and the Australia conference is here.

I start the talk by briefly mentioning some of my early writings about the interplay of dreaming and nature: a 1991 article “Quest for Transformational Experience: Dreams and Environmental Ethics,” my doctoral dissertation/1994 book The Wilderness of Dreams and its notion of “root metaphors,” Herbert Schroeder’s chapter on dreams and natural resource management in my edited 1996 book Among All These Dreamers, the study of politically conservative and liberal people’s dreams and views of the environment in 2008’s American Dreamers, and Dreaming in the World’s Religions, also in 2008, with several stories of the inspirational roles that dreaming play in the nature awareness of indigenous cultures in the Americas, Africa, and Oceania.

The main focus of the talk is the findings I’ve made about the statistical frequency of nature references in dream content, using the word search methods of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb).  For this presentation I created a baseline sample of 2087 dream reports of more than 50 words but less than 300 words in length, from a total of 1232 females and 855 males.  The sample includes children, college students, and adults.  All are American and all are educated and/or computer literate.

Using tools on the SDDb that anyone can access, I studied these 2087 dream reports for references to the following categories of nature content: Weather, fire, air, water, earth, flying, falling, and animals.  (Can you guess which of the four classic elements (fire, air, water, earth) appears most often in dreams?  Can you guess which animals appear most frequently?) After laying out my findings I discuss the technological and political issues involved in bringing the insights of dreaming to bear on waking world environmental problems.

About halfway through the talk, our cat Strauss makes an appearance over my right shoulder.  It was a sunny day by Portland, Oregon standards, and the local birds were very active outside my window.  It was hard not to look at what he was looking at!

 

Dreaming of Nature and the Nature of Dreaming

Dreaming of Nature and the Nature of Dreaming by Kelly BulkeleyNext week there will be a conference in Australia titled “Dreams and Imagination: Healing Pathways,” April 19-22 in Sydney.  I was hoping to attend in person, but instead I’m offering a presentation for the conference via youtube video.  I’ll post the address when it’s ready next week.  Here’s a short description I provided for Susan Benson, organizer of the conference:

“Dreaming is an expression of human nature, and of humans-in-nature.  Dreams reflect the deepest instinctual energies of the unconscious psyche and the greatest physical powers that shape our embodied reality.  They teach us about the inner world and the outer world.  This presentation will explore the many dimensions of nature that open up in our dream experiences.  Combining religious and cultural history with new developments in cognitive science and database technology, I will discuss recurrent themes in people’s dreams about animals, the four elements, weather, and gravity.”

Dream Recall and Political Ideology: Results of a Demographic Survey

Dream Recall and Political Ideology: Results of a Demographic Survey by Kelly BulkeleyAn article with the title above just appeared in the IASD journal Dreaming, vol. 22(1), March 2012, pp. 1-9.  It’s the latest in a series of research projects I began in 1992 on the interaction of politics and dreaming.  The abstract for the new paper is below; links to the other projects are below that.  All the data for the new project are available at the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb). 

Here’s a pdf file of the article:

Dream Recall and Political Ideology final

A brief report on the study just appeared in the “Week in Ideas” section of the Wall Street Journal.

The results of this new study are consistent with my previous findings suggesting that American liberals tend to be worse sleepers and more expansive dreamers than American conservatives, who tend to be better sleepers and relatively minimal dreamers.

Abstract: This report presents findings from a survey of 2992 demographically diverse American adults who answered questions about dream recall and questions about their political views. Participants who described themselves as “liberal” or “progressive” (n = 802) were compared to people who described themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative” (n = 1335). Previous studies have suggested that political liberals tend to have higher dream recall than political conservatives. The results of the present survey provide new evidence in support of this hypothesis. On all 11 questions asked about different types of dream recall, people on the left reported higher frequencies than people on the right. The same pattern was found when the two groups were divided by gender: Liberal males reported consistently higher dream recall than conservative males, as did liberal females compared to conservative females. These findings indicate that political ideology is at least one of the cultural factors influencing dream recall frequencies among American adults.

2008.  American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else (Beacon Press).

2006. Sleep and Dream Patterns of Political Liberals and Conservatives. Dreaming, vol. 16(3), pp. 223-235.

2002. Dream Content and Political Ideology. Dreaming, vol. 12(2), pp. 61-77.

1995. Political Dreaming: Dreams of the 1992 Presidential Election.  In Among All These Dreamers: Essays on Dreaming and Modern Society (State University of New York Press).