Someone has asked me a question some time ago and I thought that it is a pretty good question, so I decided to share my answers with all of you.  I hope that you find it interesting and beneficial.

 

Question:

What is the difference between "What dreams may come" and "Dreams come true"?  Do they mean the same as 美夢成真

 

Answer:

“What dreams may come” comes from a famous line in Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy:

In this soliloquy,” what dreams may come” means “who knows what kind of dream might come”, so it does not mean dreams come true. It merely meant you can dream of anything and it could be really bad things, so escaping into death may not really free you from what bothers you.

What dreams may come =
什麼也可能夢到

“Dreams come true” is 美夢成真

 

This is the soliloquy:
(1) To die,--to sleep;--
No more – and by a sleep to say we end

The headache, and the thousand natural shocks,

That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished.

 

(2) To die,--to sleep;--
To sleep -- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give vs. pause: There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life


- Hamlet Act III, Scene I


And my interpretation:
(1) To die is kind of like to sleep.  Through sleep, we can end all sufferings, and there will be no more miseries.  Such an end is what we have so devoutly wished for.

 

 (2) To die is kind of like to sleep.   To sleep may be to dream.  However, there is the catch.   In death's sleep, who knows what kind of dreams might come.  We must pause to consider after we've put behind our mortal life.  This is truly something to worry about.  That's what makes us suffer so long.

 

 

For the entire soliloquy, please see http://www.monologuearchive.com/s/shakespeare_001.html

 

I will try to translate the entire soliloquy when I have time.

 

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