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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Shakespeare on Cosby
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0360  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Richard A Burt <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 16:11:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

[2]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 18:01:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

[3]     From:   Joe Conlon <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 17:39:08 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 16:11:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I didn't see it, but a colleague did.  She tells me that the episode
begins with a girl reciting lines from R and J and then asking Cosby
what they means.  He doesn't know, but hides his ignorance by supplying
her with preposterous interpretations.  He privately acknowledges that
he never understood Shakespeare.  That night, he has a dream in which
Shakespeare appears.  Characters from the show play Hamlet (with the
skull of Yorick) and Cosby's daughters play Goneril and Regan.  They act
out the scene from Lear in which both daughters refuse him a large
retinue.  The issue here is Cosby's retirement (he's Lear).  The dream
is set in Elizabethan England (all the characters are dressed in period
costume).  The episode ends with Cosby being able to explain to the girl
what the lines from R and J actually mean.

>I came home from class tonight and decided to relax in front of the tube
>with a little Cosby humor, and tonight's episode has Cosby's character
>dreaming about a conversation with Shakespeare.   I missed the first ten
>minutes or so, and I'm not sure why he's having this dream, but it's
>amusing after a long day.  Perhaps someone else on the mailing list
>caught it and will share in more detail.
>
>Regards,
>Mariann

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 18:01:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I missed the first few minutes, but watched the rest. It seems that
Cosby, after rejecting Shakespeare in his waking hours, was visited by
both Shakespeare and Cosby's sixth (1) grade teacher in an effort to
help him "get it" (it being that Shakespeare is about you and all of
us).  Characters from the show perform snippets of Hamlet (to be or not
to be), Macbeth (the sleepwalking scene) and King Lear (a very
abbreviated version of Regan and Goneril taking away Lear's train).
During the last scene, Cosby, who was forced into early retirement,
finally "gets" that this is about him and the last scene shows him awake
and helping a young girl understand both the language and the meaning of
Romeo and Juliet.

An odd side note. At one point, Shakespeare claims to be the author of
44 plays. Any idea why that number might have been used, rather than the
canonized 36/37?

Annalisa Castaldo


[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 17:39:08 -0600
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I also missed the first few minutes and wish I had it taped.  I teach a
high school Shakespeare class and would dearly love to use this episode
as a discussion starter.  The show basically answered the question,
"What does Shakespeare have to teach me about myself?"  I felt it was
delightfully done.  If anyone taped it, I would dearly love to have it.
Please respond.

Joe Conlon, Warsaw, IN, USA
 

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