To sleep, perchance to dream—it was bullshit, all of it. He knew it, but it didn’t stop him from returning time and again to Shakespeare. He didn’t know what Shakespeare had been thinking… or his high school AP English teacher. By itself, the line was meaningless.
No, that wasn’t strictly true. The line had meaning in context and out of it. To sleep—sleep or die. To dream—dream or… or what? Not that it mattered. An intellectual exercise, nothing more. His college philosophy professor would have been pleased, even if he could no longer identify a single difference between Aristotle, Diogenes, and Plato. Had Diogenes even been a philosopher? Was he even Greek? Well, he certainly wasn’t Roman. There was none of that –ius. Antonius, Augustus, Julius, Octoberius. Nah, that one was just dumb. He shook his head, the movement drawing his companion’s attention. He smiled faintly to assuage their concern.
Assuage. That was an interesting word. He wondered where it came from. Latin? Maybe, but he couldn’t find the root. French? Probably not. None of the letters made any weird sounds. It probably came from some weird mixture of Latin and Anglo-Saxon.
People said that the American accent was actually the original one and that it was the British accent that had changed in the time after the Revolutionary War. Hence the American use of “garbage” while the British tended to use “rubbish.” At least that’s what some people said. Supposedly Shakespeare sounded better in an American accent, although that didn’t explain the rhymes that appeared when done in what people think was the accent Shakespeare would have used.
To sleep, perchance to dream. To be or not to be. It was all bullshit anyway.