Monday, May 9, 2011

Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!

"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!  A most odd and strange position, truly, for one so matter-of-fact as I.  I will not laugh-no, God forbid, for this thing which is so substanceless to me is real to him.  And to me, also, in one way, it is not a falsity, for it reflects with truth the sweet and generous spirit that is in him."  page 65

My quote, as stated above, from The Prince and the Pauper, is said by Miles Hendon, who befriends the young Royal boy, Prince Edward VI.  Miles Hendon does not know that Prince Edward VI is telling the truth, when he talks about his royalty, but Hendon plays along with the young prince's illusions.  Just a moment before the quote of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows, the prince had knighted Hendon and he thus refers to this whole episode of the young prince the "Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows".  Hendon thinks that the young boy is just fantasizing about being the Royal Prince, therefore, calling it a Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows; only in slumber and in fantasy is Edward a prince and Hendon a knight (so Hendon thinks- SURPRISE! Edward is the future king of England!)  Hendon thinks that his knighthood is just a boy's play, but little does he know at this point in the story that he has actually been knighted and is not "substanceless". 


  1. Interesting quote. I must say that I also think that Twain is trying to make adults see that children aren't as small-minded or uncreative as some may think. Twain writes a lot of short stories, and books about children, and most of the time they are either misunderstood by society or their families. Maybe through Miles, Twain is trying to show us that adults should trust children...

  2. Oh good point! I never thought of Twain's use of Hendon this way. But, now that you mention it, I think Twain does want adults to alter their perceptions of children. Children can be trustworthy, maybe not all, but, it still would be nice to be given the chance to prove one's trustworthiness.