The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0464 Tuesday, 12 May 1998.
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 1998
Subject: *The Sandman* Shakespeares
This weekend I got the opportunity to visit one of the Washington, DC,
area's Borders bookstores and was able to buy the two Sandman
collections that contain the Shakespeare-related stories that we
discussed last week.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is included in the collection *A Dream
Country* (ISBN 1-56389-016, $14.95 US) and "The Tempest is in *The Wake*
(ISBN 1-56389-279-0, $19.95 US).
In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the Lord Strange's Men on a provincial
tour because the London theatres are closed by the plague perform on a
Sussex down for Auberon and Lady Titania and their attendants at the
request of Dream Shaper, who has made an arrangement with Will
Shekespear. Dream Shaper is to give Will Shekespear what he thinks he
wants in return for writing two plays. MND is the first. During the
performance, Lady Titania takes a fancy to Hamnet Shekespear who plays
the Indian Boy and whom she meets at the interval. Also, at the
interval, Will promises to deliver the other play celebrating dreams at
the end of his career and learns of Kit Marlowe's death.
As "The Tempest" opens, Will having returned to Stratford in 1610 starts
writing the second commissioned play and gets in trouble with his wife
for telling their daughter Judith that "Scottish Jimmy" is called at
court "Queen James." At the Quiney Inn, while discussing with the
Mistress her son Tommy's infatuation with Judith, the two are
interrupted by visitors who charge a shilling to reveal the corpse of a
death "Indian." Ben Jonson pays a visit as does Dream Shaper who has
come to check on the progress of the new play. There is even an episode
in which Shakespeare discusses his version of Psalm 46 with one of the
translators of the KJV.
Fascinating, these two stories, I recommend them to all.