Characteristics Of The Fool In King Lear

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King Lear is thought to be one of the most intricate yet interesting plays ever written by William Shakespeare. It was written around 1605 during a period in Shakespeare’s life when he was engrossed in writing about how flaws in a character can cause great turmoil amongst other characters. One of the key characters in King Lear is known as the Fool, and he is the epitome of the style Shakespeare was using as he was writing King Lear. The Fool serves as a caretaker, confidant, and overseer to King Lear in this tragedy. He even goes with King Lear on his journey to the countryside after turmoil with his daughters. By the end of the play the Fool ultimately suffers the same fate as King Lear, but along the way he does his best to accompany him …show more content…
They were often called court jesters, would wear bright colors and would sing and dance. This differs greatly from the role we see the Fool take up in the play, King Lear. In the play, we see the Fool in a number of interesting situations as he accompanies King Lear. The Fool has a role that is largely to reveal to us the hidden truths that we need to know about King Lear and his inner character. His role also reveals hidden truths about other characters in the play and lastly offers us a somewhat foolish and comedic relief. “Lear’s Fool’s characteristics of manipulation of language, telling hidden truths, and using physical comedy and bawdy jokes [are] to entertain the audience…” (Vieira De Jesus) This is great for the audience because it gives us a break from the continual betrayal and tragedy we see during the play. It also lets us tie the story together better with the extra information and hidden truth’s that the Fool reveals to us. For example, in the play the Fool tells King Lear during the storm, “This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.” (Fool, William Shakespeare’s King Lear) This is the type of clarity that the Fool …show more content…
However, in reality he also is the connection between the audience and King Lear himself. The Fool is seen as a protagonist in the play due to the care he provides Lear. He may speak harsh truth’s that King Lear does not want to hear, but he does so with the best intentions in mind. “The Fool’s role as mediator between the audience and Lear makes us feel close to the King…” (Vieira De Jesus) I believe this is one of the greatest attributes that the Fool contributes. Shakespeare very cleverly did this to connect us emotionally to King Lear. Once you connect with the character on a level further than just reading or watching a play, you are almost brought into the play. You feel the emotions that the character does. The sadness, happiness, pain, and more all because of the well written lines that the Fool speaks. I believe this is the most dynamic role of the Fool and serves as a critical portion of this very interesting

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