THE ROLE OF THE FOOL
Characters are often able to notice their flaws when an outsider evaluates their actions. The Shakespearean tragedy King Lear exemplifies this situation. King Lear’s rash decisions towards his family are often followed by the Fool’s constant disapproval. In addition, the role of the Fool is to criticize the King’s follies because he is one of the few characters that are willing to stand up and tell him he is wrong. Furthermore, the Fool conveys words of wisdom to Lear through comical ways such as songs and rhymes. He also lightens the mood for the readers in a tragic play. Therefore, the Fool is an important character in the play because he acts as the King’s inner conscience and helps him understand his faults.
The Fool points out the wrong actions King Lear has taken towards his family. An example of this situation is when the Fool lectures Lear about the meeting with his three daughters. "All thy other titles thou hast given away that thou wast born with” (1.4 153-154). The Fool explains that the King has nothing left once he has given away all his assets. In addition, the Fool warns Lear about Goneril and Regan’s true motives and gives a warning that he is now their lapdog. “Truths a dog to kennel; he must be whipped out, when the lady Brach may stand by th’ fire and stink” (Act 1, Scene 4, 115). It is evident that the Fool displays insight into King Lear’s actions with his daughters. Moreover, the Fool tries to point out the King’s faults in a comical manner by creating songs and riddles. In the beginning of the play, King Lear objects to the Fool’s riddles commenting that it is nonsense. However in truth, the Fool’s riddles give important lessons that teach moral values to Lear. “Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest, Lend less than thou owest, Ride more than thou goest, Learn more than thou trowest, Set less than thou throwest; Leave thy drink and thy whore, And keep in-a-door, And thou shalt have more Than...
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