The World Turns To Ice

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Prospero, the Dream Weaver

Take yourself back to the evening of November 1st 1611. You are in the Palace of Whitehall in the court of King James 1 of England and Ireland and King James VI of Scotland. You are dressed in all your finery before the King and looking forward to an evening's entertainment. This is to be an exciting night. You are to see a new play by William Shakespeare performed by the King's Players.  The play is to be 'The Tempest', a fine subject to follow All Hallow's Eve as it introduces to the world the enlightened sorcerer Prospero. This extraordinary character who can summon spirits from the air closes the play with these immortal words:

'Our revels are now ended. These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air. And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve and, like the insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep'.

The night air is cold and illuminated clouds scurry across the moonlit sky. There will be no frost tonight but you draw your cloak tight around you as you walk across the cobbled courtyard to your carriage. This evening you have been touched by the breath of the supernatural and mortality shall follow you to your door. May Prospero conjure sweet dreams to steer you under the stars tonight and may the bright sun rise to greet you with a new and precious day.

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