The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1984  Saturday, 28 October 2000.

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 26 Oct 2000 23:14:50 -0400
Subject:        TV Hamlet as Anaconda

October 27, Fox Family 10 p.m. EST. an episode of a show (originally
aired on CBS?) about a guy who can see partly into the future and
intervene to prevent disasters--don't know the name of the television
show--has the hero and a friend of his pretend to be a substitute and a
student teacher respectively.  The student teacher has to lead a class
on Hamlet, which he has never read.  (He has a copy of the Arden and
flips through it, concluding "no pictures.!").  He gets a brief plot
summary from a student-- the play is about an indecisive hero who
eventually gets killed--and then compares the play to the film
Anaconda.  The students initially resist, but then get drawn into a
discussion of the film.  A brighter student asks "But what does all this
have to do with Hamlet?"  Facing your fears.   The comparison is carried
through the episode.  A young woman learns to "face her fears" and break
up with her overly possessive and rather violent boyfriend, who then
tries to shoot the student teacher.  The two characters are found out at
the end and dismissed by the principal. (The student teacher is 6
credits short of a B.A.).  But the student teacher says he would like to
continue teaching.  "Shakespeare's covered.  The plays are just like
films.  Macbeth?  It's just I know what you did last summer.  Driving
along and killing a guy, and then they're haunted by his ghost.  Exactly
the same thing. Exactly the same thing.  And The Tempest? Ernest Goes to
Camp.  The same thing! And then there's Zorro.  That play about the girl
and boy?  Romeo and Juliet."   The hero is not buying it.

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