• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Role of The Fool in Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...


17/09/2012 11:38 1. In many of William Shakespeare?s plays, moments of tragedy and tension are lightened by the interruption of comical characters. These characters are referred to as the ?Shakespearean fool?. The reoccurring presence of such personalities captivated the audience of the Elizabethan era as it made them laugh. Shakespeare employed the use of humor as means to avoid a dismal atmosphere. This was most effective when the storyline became too serious, as it provided comic relief. 2. A true Shakespearean fool, of this kind, is often a commoner or a peasant. Some one not belonging to a higher title or an important role in the play. ...read more.


This is when the audience knows of something but the characters on stage don?t. An example of this is what the fairies in Midsummer Nights Dream do. They manage to trick the characters on stage without them having a clue. They make fools out of the main characters. The tangled web of love is humorous. 4. Although the fool is portrayed to be quite stupid, there are a few that have a certain cleverness to them. The fool in the play King Lear, for example, seems to comment on society?s behavior and criticizes King Lear?s actions. Despite the hilarious manor in which he does this, there is an element of truthfulness in what he says. ...read more.


Fools of this sort also exist in Midsummer Nights Dream, as previously mentioned. They are tricked by the fairies in to thinking they love each other. Such fool?s fickle personalities lead them into messy situations. They are mad for love and change their opinions in a matter of minutes. In the play Much Ado About Nothing the two main characters are essentially fools, as others tactfully make them realize their feelings for one another. 6. It is evident that there are a few different types of fools present in Shakespeare?s work. Whether they are there for comedic relief or to further dramatize a storyline, each does it?s part in making the play far more interesting. The clever use of such characters is what makes his plays so famous. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The text is replete with body images: Alm�sy's burned body, Kip's dark and lithe body, Katharine's willowy figure, and so on. Each description provides not only a window into that character's existence; more importantly, it provides a map of that person's history.

  2. Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare uses dramatic conventions in his plays and why ...

    It follows the same type of plot. The title of this scene is "The Orchard" there is imagery to the story of the Garden of Eden, were deception is also a main theme as well .When the audience see the start of the scene they can guess what is going to happen this is known as foreshadowing.

  1. Comparing the Role of Women in Sense and Sensibility and Othello

    Furthermore, Othello suppresses her and questions her loyalty, therefore we see at the end Othello smothers her power by killing her. Desdemona betrays her father by marrying the Moor, thus it is seen Desdemona is a capable of listening to what her father says, but she is also capable of not following demands if she doesn't want to.

  2. madness through king lear, the fool and edgar

    Lear's speeches become increasingly disjointed as he becomes more distressed, hinting at the madness that will overtake him later in the play. He is becoming progressively isolated due to his fragile mental state, thus, through Lear the idea of madness could be seen as being presented as vulnerability.

  1. Compare the Role of Magic and the Supernatural in The Tempest and A Midsummer ...

    Shakespeare is able to challenge these 15th century stereotypes with his characters, portraying the behaviour of what is now seen as the modern woman. However, it is perhaps only the supernatural setting that permits Prospero the circumstances to raise his daughter away from European convention.

  2. Explore the motives which have driven the villains in Othello by William Shakespeare and ...

    However, this makes the audience wonder whether Iago is racist since this could be part of his ability to adapt language in order to create maximum manipulative impact on others. Iago is a great observer and judge of character as he is able to realises the hidden side of Brabantio.

  1. They f*** you up, your mum and dad Philip Larkin. To what extent is ...

    Montague is also distant from his son, Romeo. Shakespeare shows this as Montague does not know what is plaguing Romeo ?I neither know it nor can learn of him?, ?nor can learn? suggests that Montague is not close enough with his son for Romeo to confide his feelings in him.

  2. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, ...

    Richard in fact interrupts the procession and then proposes marriage to her after he had killed her husband and father in law, ?Stay you that bear the corpse, and set it down?, by using an imperative which is powerful from the start Richard is in total control of the scene;

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work