Twelfth Night - Analysis of Fools.

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Twelfth Night - Analysis of Fools

A fool can be defined in many meanings according to the

Oxford English Dictionary On Historical Principles. The word

could mean "a silly person", or "one who professionally

counterfeits folly for the entertainment of others, a jester,

clown" or "one who has little or no reason or intellect" or

"one who is made to appear to be a fool" (word originated from

North Frisian). In english literature, the two main ways which

the fool could enter imaginative literature is that "He could

provide a topic, a theme for mediation, or he could turn into a

stock character on the stage, a stylized comic figure". In

William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, Feste the clown is

not the only fool who is subject to foolery. He and many other

characters combine their silly acts and wits to invade other

characters that "evade reality or rather realize a dream", while

"our sympathies go out to those".

"It is natural that the fool

should be a prominent & attractive figure and make an important

contribution to the action" in forming the confusion and the

humor in an Elizabethan drama. In Twelfth Night, the clown and

the fools are the ones who combine humor & wit to make the comedy


Clowns, jesters, and Buffoons are usually regarded as fools.

Their differences could be of how they dress, act or portrayed in

society. A clown for example, "was understood to be a country

bumpkin or 'cloun'". In Elizabethan usage, the word 'clown' is

ambiguous "meaning both countryman and principal comedian".

Another meaning given to it in the 1600 is "a fool or jester".

As for a buffoon, it is defined as "a man whose profession is to

make low jests and antics postures; a clown, jester, fool".