King Lear

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Topics: King Lear
Refer to Act one, scene five

Describe the relationship between King Lear and his Fool in this passage. How is the relationship developed in King Lear as a whole?

In Shakespeare's "King Lear", the relationship between Lear and the fool is crucial to the development of the character of Lear and also to many themes in the play. Interweaving insightful commentaries with clever wit and language, the fool, a loyal associate to Lear, offers an insight into Lear's mind. Using juxtaposition with metaphor, symbolism, puns and irony, the fool effectively addresses and understands Lear's motives and offers practical, unpretentious advice. The fool effectively gives to Lear a conscience, and highlights his goodness and self-realization as Lear is persuaded to lower himself to the level of another. The play starts with Lear effectively being the fool but gains wisdom and human experiences with the guidance of the fool and learns humility, remorse and compassion. With the fool, Lear becomes a sympathetic character, identifiable as a human, and less as an ignorant king. This passage takes place in act one, scene
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He states that the nose's job is to "keep one's eyes on either side" of it, which again highlights Lear's folly. Lear's vision is straight, unyielding, which makes him susceptible to deceptions because he cannot see a wide range of vision that he "cannot smell out," Intuitively, Lear perceives that he has treated Cordelia wrongly, triggered by the words of the Fool. It is evident that the fool serves as Lear's reflection. As later mentioned in the play, Lear asks "who am I?" and the fool replies "Lear's shadow." Lear is unsure of his own identity because he cannot see himself, for a shadow cannot see itself just as eyes cannot see without being separated by the nose. In both cases, the fool acts as the mediator or helper for Lear's deeper understanding of

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