Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

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Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear The Fool’s function in King Lear is to create emphasis on the tragedy in the play and give insight into the characters’ true nature. He shows other characters’ nature though blunt comments and earns himself the name of ‘all-licensed Fool’, as he clearly states peoples’ inner personality. He develops the tragedy though a theme of madness and instability, from his use of poems and rhymes intermingled with standard prose, which even then is full of cryptic phrases and drivel. This, also, creates a dramatic atmosphere, as the lines of his riddle are short with a quick tempo. However, the Fool was not just used in King Lear. There were many other…show more content…
He also states his point of view towards Lear’s decision to banish Cordelia, and believes Lear to be a ‘sweet and bitter fool’ for this action. This shows one of his functions is to comment on relationships and characters. The Fool’s views on the situation here emphasise the atmosphere of madness and tragedy that Shakespeare is trying to portray to the audience. The Fool’s function is therefore to make us feel pathos towards Lear’s folly and Cordelia, and clarify Goneril and Regan’s hatred towards their father. In addition to this, he adds contrast to the tragedy through his use of poems and riddles in this scene, which creates a comical element. The Fool creates most of his desired functions through these changes in his style of language. Throughout the play, the Fool talks in riddles and poems amid normal prose. He uses this to confuse Lear and for comic relief, which I have already mentioned as one of his functions. This also keeps the audience and Lear interested in his conversation. The Fool’s language makes Lear want the Fool to ‘teach [him]’. The Fool’s function is to also add irony to the play in the statement, already pronounced by Lear, ‘Nothing comes out of nothing’. This creates irony, as ultimately nothing is precisely what Lear ends with. In Act I scene IV one of the Fool’s poems is; That lord that counsell’d thee To give away thy land, Come place him here by
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