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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Sweet Dreams

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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



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