I Talk of Dreams

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on”, says Prospero, in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  I have a good friend, a very experienced Shakespearean actor, who would happily change that to “made of”, claiming that otherwise nobody understands what it means. I disagree, for more reasons than I care to enumerate.  But I will say this, we ARE such stuff as dreams are made on, we have imaginations, we thrive on metaphors and fables, fiction and mystery. We constantly adjust the way we use words; we invent new words and new ways of using old words.  We hear someone speaking words we’ve never heard before, and we figure out for ourselves what they might mean long before it occurs to ask us …

Did My Heart Love Till Now?

My students hear those words a lot these days, whenever I need to demonstrate a particular teaching point that involves placing my voice at the disposal of sounds that combine to make words that combine to make phrases, sentences – in other words, text. It makes a change from “the quality of mercy…” which is usually the first text that comes to mind when I am teaching – “to be, or not to be” is usually the second. There are many reasons why I choose these texts, not least being because I am so unlikely to ever be cast as Portia or Hamlet, so it’s an opportunity for me to play with these words. You’d be forgiven for assuming that …