“What is the Function of the Fool in “King Lear”?
King Lear tragedy written by William Shakespeare has entered the world literature as one of the most famous plays ever written. The foregoing discussion concerns with the function of the Fool in the tragedy, defines his impact on Lear`s world perception, and the reason why Fool disappears later.
The Fool is a more complex character than he is excerpted to be in an ordinary kingdom (Shakespeare & Halio, 2005 p.7). On the logical grounds, one may assume that Fool is a reflection of Lear`s voice of reason and his conscience. It was not a bad idea to introduce the Fool to the audience exactly in that moment when Lear had made a huge mistake giving away his kingdom.Despite the entertaining role of Fool in a kingdom, he functions as the Lear’s protector in terms of complicated family relationship which has resulted in the loss of the kingdom. As a result, Fool admits that the choice is a result of “grown foppish”.
Fools had ne’er less wit in a year,
For wise men are grown foppish (Shakespeare, 1963 pp.155).
The Fool helps the King realize his mistakes providing him with the piece of advice every time when king fails to manage his life. Shakespeare admits that being surrounded by the power and servants over the long period of time, the king has become completely incapable of using his brain. He writes,
They know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish (Shakespeare, 1963 p.156).
As a result, the king has to realize the true value of the world through sufferings, and the role of Fool is to help the king to do it through the use of sarcasm and irony. The Fool disappears as soon as the king takes over his role of a madman.
It seems relevant to conclude that Fool played a pivotal role in King Lear tragedy by William Shakespeare, as well as it considerably influenced Lear`s world perception being his informative protector and friend.
Shakespeare, W., & Halio, J. L. (2005). The Tragedy of King Lear (Vol. 20). Cambridge University Press.
Shakespeare, W., & In Furness, H. H. (1963). King Lear. New York: Dover Publications.”
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