Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Shakespeare for Kids
• Discover Our Collection
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Sweet Dreams

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Sweet Dreams

Shakespeare for Kids

In Shakespeare's day, people used both medicine and magic to fall asleep, get rid of nightmares, and even control their dreams!


Books of recipes and remedies were common items, often kept within a family and handed down between generations. Look at Mary Granville's book on the right side of this page to see an example from the Folger collection. The words "To make one sleepe" are written across the top of the page.  


Controlling Dreams


Wearing diamonds to bed could keep you safe from nightmares—but they might prevent good dreams, too!


To see lions, tigers, wolves, bears, or other wild animals in your dreams, place an ape's heart underneath your pillow.


Amethysts could make you have exciting dreams.


A dragon's tongue boiled in wine prevented bad dreams.


Do you think any of these would work? Why or why not?

Romeo and Juliet

Anne (Granville) Dewes. Cookery and medicinal recipes. Manuscript, ca. 1640-1750

Did you know?

An Elizabethan recipe book included instructions on how to make "A Dormant Drink" that would make whoever swallowed it sleep for two whole days. Does this remind you of any of Shakespeare's plays?


Hint: This play is set in Italy and tells the story of two young lovers.

Just for Kids

Does your family have a secret recipe?


Write it down on a piece of paper. To make the recipe look very old, take a used tea bag and carefully rub it over one side of the paper. Allow to dry. You may also gently crinkle the paper to create wrinkles.

You might also like ...

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream Family Guide

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623