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Essay foolear Importance of the Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear

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Importance of the Fool in King Lear

William Shakespeare's genius came from how closely he intertwined the two seemingly mutually exclusive realms to appeal to all socio-economic groups in his audience. The character of the Fool provides the closest intercourse of the two realms between King Lear's royalty and Poor Tom's poverty, while still maintaining their separation. The Fool's role in King Lear was to counteract the King's follies in order to bring him to his senses. With his honesty, wit, and clever wordplay that interweave foreshadowing and practical advice, the Fool entertains not only the King, but the audience as well, and brings some light and humour into this tragedy. All the characters in King Lear, apart from the
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In the same scene the Fool also mentions, "thou madest thy daughters thy mother," meaning that Lear has made his daughters his parents (line 168-169). One should perceive that in this first Act the Fool appears and speaks of reality to the King who was blinded by flatteries of his evil daughters. He tacitly insinuates through his actions and statements that Lear is among the company of fools, which provides the hint of foreshadowing the audience needs to know that Lear is losing his wits. However, where was the Fool when the King made his decision to divide the kingdom? Obviously the King did not think it was important for the Fool to be employed in political or family matters. Important matters as such were none of his business. Thus, the Fool did not have any influence over King's decision and therefore, over the major plot of the play.

In the following scene the Fool tries to convince Lear of his mistake again and informs him that Regan will, "...taste as like this as a crab does to a crab," meaning that Regan and Goneril are of the same nature and that there is no need for him to go to her after Goneril has rejected his knights (Act1, Scene 5, line 18). However, this does not stop the King from going to meet with his other daughter. The Fool again had no influence over King's actions and he follows
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