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King lear role of the fool

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Ms Pennington King Lear- Role of the Fool In Shakespeare's King Lear, the Fool plays three major roles. One of these roles is of an inner-conscience of Lear. The Fool provides basic wisdom and reasoning for the King at much needed times. The Fool also works as amusement for Lear in times of sadness and is also one of the only people besides the Duke of Kent and Cordelia who are willing to stand up to the King. The Fool works as the inner conscience of Lear throughout the play. The Fool shows Lear the side of reasoning and tries to persuade Lear that it was wrong to banish Cordelia. The Fool only first appears in Act 1, scene four, after Cordelia has moved away with the King of France. The Fool knows that Lear has done wrong by giving all his land away to his to evil daughters, Goneril and Regan, and tells him so in act one, scene four, when he says, "All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with". ...read more.


This little verse helps the Fool the show Lear again that dividing his kingdom was a mistake. The Fool throughout this act also refers to Lear as a fool himself and many times offers him his coxcomb. The remark about poor Tom's clothing is a good example of the Fool lightening the tone of a distressing scene in Act 3 scene 4 line 60-61. Many of the Fool's other speeches can be played for comic effect, but it is possible to stress the 'bitter' rather than the witty fool. When he first appears in the play the Fool is extremely critical of Lear: 'Dost thou call me fool, boy? / All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with' (Act 1 scene 1 line 146-148). These lines are typical of the Fool's interaction with Lear. His sarcasm is blunt and hard hitting. The Fool's bitterness can partly be understood by considering his role as Cordelia's representative. A truth teller, like Lear's youngest daughter, he pines away when she goes to France. ...read more.


In King Lear, there are only three people with the ability to stand up to Lear. Cordelia, Kent and the Fool. During the play Lear threatens to have the Fool whipped for what he says, when Cordelia and Kent get banished from the Kingdom for speaking their minds. This just shows the special relationship the Fool and Lear have during the play. This point is emphasized later in the play when Lear shows concern and compassion towards the Fool, "Come on, my boy. How dost my boy, art thou cold?" In conclusion the Fool is not just a servant to Lear but is also a friend and the son Lear never had. The name Fool means nothing. He is the most intelligent and insightful character in the play and provides simple and clear reasoning for a one sighted King. The Fool is loyal to the bitter end and provides the little bits of humor in this play. He has honesty and integrity that is only found in a few other characters in the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Greg Neale ...read more.

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