Shakespeare and Sleep

Shakespeare and SleepShakespeare’s plays have always been fascinating. But do you know of something in particular that adds to their fascination? It is something that even the most avid fan of his plays may have failed to realize. And that is the subject of sleep.

Sleep or, more specifically, the way in which sleep relates to Shakespeare’s plays performs a surprisingly significant role. Through this stimulating book, author Thomas Vail discusses how Shakespeare uses sleeping characters to help move plot situations forward and explores the way in which Shakespeare utilizes certain sleep disorders to help delineate a variety of characters. In addition to addressing the subject of premonitory dreams and the unfortunate consequences that can ensue if such dreams are ignored, he seeks to discover, in spite of Shakespeare’s treatment of sleep as generally troubled, elusive, or akin to death, if there are any Shakespearean characters who actually have a good night’s sleep.

What he discovers may surprise you.

Thomas E. Vail

This multi-talented author is originally from Portland, Oregon. While attending high school, he studied oil painting with the Oregon artist Albert Patecky (1906-1994) and acting at the Portland Civic Theatre School of Drama. After graduation, he attended Portland State College and, later, the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Art Students League.

Over the years, while exhibiting occasionally as an artist, he worked as a professional actor, a lighting consultant to architects and interior designers, and a staff member at Pace University. Currently a member of the Shakespeare Society, he retired in 2002 and devotes his time to writing, painting, and theatergoing.


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