Surely you’ve heard the misquote, “We are such stuff as dreams are made of.” It’s actually “on”. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” says Prospero near the end of The Tempest, “And our little lives are rounded with a sleep.”
If Google is to be believed, the ratio is about 5 to 1 (200k or so misquotes to about a million instances of the actual quote).
I got to thinking, is this just a typo? What makes people think it’s one over the other? Who reads it as “on” and thinks, “No, that’s not right, it should be of?” Does it mean the same thing and this is just a minor nit?
We are such stuff as dreams are made of.
Dreams, like the magical spirits Prospero conjures forth, are just little bits of nothingness. They don’t exist. They are an illusion. If we are the stuff that dreams are made of, then our lives too are little more than illusion that will one day end.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on.
Dreams follow reality. You dream because you are conscious of what you experience. If we are the stuff that dreams are made on, then we are the source of limitless creative possibility.
Am I reading too much into this?