William Shakespeare’s Dune: Act I, Scene i

Act I, Scene i. The Castle Caladan

Paul Atreides’ Bedroom
Paul Atreides lies on his bed, asleep.
Lady Jessica and Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

REV: Is not he weak and paltry for his age?

JES: Your Reverence, it is no cause for concern.
Th’ Atreides often stunt their early growth.

REV: Yet he hath grown already fifteen years?

JES: Aye.

REV:                         He’s awake and listens to us now,
The slyness of a spider shall he need
If thou hast borne the Kwisatz Haderach…
Sleep well, thou spiderling, and have a care:
Tomorrow thou shalt meet my gom jabbar.

Exit Lady Jessica and Reverend Mother Mohiam

PAUL: I dream a dream of time to come and space
A thousand-folded futures, dreaming true.
What is this cavern cold, perfumed with spice?
Arrakis, Dune, the Desert Planet looms
In my mind’s eye, remembered, yet unseen
In any past that should lodge in my brain.
Harkonnen fief that was, and now is ours:
Such wealth should make my father laugh for joy
Of vict’ry o’er the cruel Baron’s pride.
And yet his mood is somber. Is’t indeed
As Mentat Thufir says, and out of fear
That Emperor Shaddam has granted us
Arrakis: spiced and honeyed as a trap?
But still! Yon crone did call me spiderling
And I lie fretting as th’ensnared fly.
My mother’s disciplines I shall recall
And choosing consciousness shall master all.

 Enter Lady Jessica

 JES: Didst thou sleep well?

PAUL:                                  Aye, mother, what’s the matter?

JES: Dress and come. The Reverend Mother waits.

PAUL: I dreamed of her. Who is she then to thee?

JES: My teacher once. A Bene Gesserit sage.
And now the Emperor’s Truthsayer is become.
Thou must discover for her all thy dreams.

PAUL: I will. But what’s a gom jabbar, withal?

JES: In time the gom jabbar thou shalt well know.
The Reverend Mother waits upon thee. Haste!