Written by Peter Wood
In Dream, Character A talks about a dream they had last night to Character B.
In Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information, Character A from Act 3, Scene: Dream says:
“I had a dream last night, I was in a garden and there were blackberries, big bushes of brambles, I was picking them, and a butterfly flew across and I could see this orange-and-black butterfly really clearly on a yellow rose, but then the whole thing was a dance because I was at the ballet. And I looked all those things up on a website about dreams, blackberry, butterfly, ballet, and every single one means infidelity. So now I know he’s cheating.” (Churchill, 2016)
Character B replies and they have a conversation about how Character A’s dream will affect their relationship. Character B then brings up the possibility that the dream wasn’t about Character A’s current partner but rather about the two of them. In the following, I sourced meanings and explanations what each of images from Character A’s dream could represent.
To see or eat blackberries in your dream suggest that you are becoming careless. It is also an expression of your hidden sexual desires. ("Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations", 2014)
To see or be entangled in bramble indicates that you are feeling trapped in a relationship or emotionally. ("Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations", 2014)
To see a butterfly in your dream signifies longevity, creativity, romance, joy and spirituality. You may be experiencing a new way of thinking. Or you are undergoing some sort of transformation. Alternatively, a butterfly refers to your need to settle down. ("Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations", 2014)
Usually interpreted as an ill omen, black butterflies tell us to turn inwards. There is magic at work here for either good or ill. A black butterfly is a harbinger of magical energy, coming usually from Deities or Witches related with Storms, Thunders and Lightnings. Is a Storm Witch after You? Moreover, if a black butterfly is spotted, sudden change should be anticipated. An end of an era. A break up, or maybe a change of hearts, relocation etc. In conclusion, if you see a black butterfly, it’s time to practice some magic. Time to define this energy. (Alchemist, 2018)
Spotting an orange butterfly is usually a sign that we need to stay active and optimistic. An opportunity or a change is coming and we have to conjure all our enthusiasm to get the most out of this situation. Is this a new job, a new romantic partner, a new friend? Orange Butterflies predict that a change is coming and we have to go out and grab this opportunity. (Alchemist, 2018)
Friendship or deep meaningful love (non-romantic). Desiring to be close to someone – wanting to open up. Increased socialization and finding friends. To see a yellow rose that is wilting is a sign to invest more time in friendships. (Flo, 2018)
To see roses in your dream signify faithfulness in love and the coming of joy in some area of your life. Roses also symbolize love, passion, desire, femininity, unity, and romance, particularly if they are red roses. If you see a white rose, then it symbolizes virginity, pureness, and secrecy. It you see a yellow rose, then it refers to infidelity, jealousy, or friendship. ("Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations", 2014)
To dream that you are watching a ballet symbolizes balance, cooperation, and harmony. ("Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations", 2014)
Using these sources, this is one interpretation of what the dream could mean to Character A.
· Firstly, they see blackberries: which means they are careless and have hidden sexual desires.
· Secondly, they see big bushes of brambles: which means they trapped in a current relationship.
· Thirdly, they see a butterfly: which can mean romance, creativity and joy but also raises the possibilities of undergoing changes. Orange in a butterfly signals change of relationship, and change of heart where the black in a butterfly symbolises an end to an era.
From this interpretation, Character A definitely feels confined in their current relationship and the subconscious definitely seeks change.
· Fourthly, they see a yellow rose: which symbolises friendship and non-romantic love.
The image of the butterfly that symbolises change of heart to land on a yellow rose that symbolises friendship and non-romantic love, makes the emotions and intentions of Character A clear. Character A no longer feels a romantic love and desires to seek change in their current relationship, preferably to non-romantic or platonic.
· Fifthly, they see the image of the butterfly on a rose, transition into a ballet which symbolises balance and harmony.
The dream is telling Character A that once you change the situation with your current relationship, there will be harmony and balance restored into your world. But Character A continues to analyse the symbolism of Yellow Roses, which can be interpreted as infidelity. Hence doing this, Character A projects the focus onto the partner instead of themselves. So is Character A aware of their true intentions and motives? Because if so, are they deliberately diverting the attention onto the partner rather than coming to terms with their own feelings?
In the rest of the scene Character B questions Character A and both realise that what if the infidelity is not the partner but rather themselves. They both agree that they are “definitely going to do it”, either way. It’s almost as if both character’s used the dream and it’s meanings as an excuse to be with each other. Despite all the information given, the love they must feel overcomes any sort of spiritual meanings and explanations.
Come watch actors Peter Wood and Zac Boulton perform this scene in Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, co-presented by Robert The Cat and Metro Arts in August, 2019.
Alchemist, T. (2018). Butterflies as Omens - Their Colors and Meanings if You Spot them - Magical Recipes Online. Retrieved from https://www.magicalrecipesonline.com/2018/03/butterflies-omens-colors-meanings-spot.html
Your Online Source For Dream Interpretations. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.dreammoods.com/
Flo, A. (2018). Roses. Retrieved from https://www.auntyflo.com/dream-dictionary/roses
Churchill, C. (2016). Love and information (p. 26). London: Nick Hern Books.