My DVD of the new Macbeth with Patrick Stewart arrived the other day, so I decided to watch it to celebrate my last grading-free night for a while. So, naturally, I dreamed about Macbeth, only not Stewart-Macbeth (which is just as well, because that would be a serious nightmare). No, in my dream the Folger and another theater were putting on rival productions of Macbeth, so I went to see both of them. And one of them was a very avant-garde production where there was no seating and the audience got to wander all over the theater and follow the actors around (and, in fact, had to do so, because the sets were full of weird arches and nooks so that you could only see the action from one particular angle). You could even come up on the stage and, for example, stalk the murderers while they were stalking Banquo. It was cool, if completely impractical.
Most of my Shakespeare dreams involve performance. I never seem to dream about teaching Shakespeare, or about being a character in Shakespeare, and very rarely about reading or doing research on Shakespeare. (Except for that one dream where I discovered the original manuscripts of a bunch of Shakespeare's tragedies, and Severus Snape was a character in all of them. He had to be edited out of the final versions because he kept running around concocting antidotes for all the characters who got poisoned and telling the rest of them when they were being idiots, thus converting all the tragedies into non-tragedies. That was an awesome dream. I was very disappointed when I woke up.)
But most of the time, even in dream-world, I'm very conscious that the play is a play. I used to have a recurring dream in which someone forced me to act in a stage production at short notice, ignoring my protests that I didn't have any of the lines memorized. ("You call yourself a Shakespeare scholar and you don't KNOW this stuff by heart?") Usually it was one of two parts, Emilia in Othello or Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, and I would end up having to ad-lib it. I don't think I've had that dream since grad school. Perhaps it was really a paper-and-dissertation-anxiety dream in another guise.
I wonder what sort of dreams people who work on non-dramatic literature have about their texts?