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The Role of The Fool in Shakespeare

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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.

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