The Fool Is Not the Fool After all! By: Faisel Modhi

Essay by sniper786High School, 12th gradeA-, February 2005

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Out of all the characters in King Lear the most exciting character had to be The Fool. The fool keeps appearing and disappearing making the play interesting. The fool is an essential character to the evolution of Lear's character, since he is the image of truth and reason. The fool shows Lear how he is going insane as well as attempts to delay this inevitable. The fool also shows the truth of the people around him and tries to point out what trickery they want to do upon him. Right from the start of the play Lear shows sings of insanity.

Dividing up his kingdom, for the reasons he stated in the book, may seem to be a wise thing to do. Not trusting Cordelia, however, is a sing of insanity, as she is the only daughter who truly loved him. The fool, throughout the time he is in the play, attempts to point out these insane actions and delay Lear's insanity as much as he can.

The fool, however, does not tell Lear that he is going insane, "Then I prithee be merry. Thy will shalt not go slipshod"(I. IV. 11-12). The fool uses riddles and jokes to convey his message to Lear. Even when Lear's insanity was causing the fool discomfort, "Blow winds and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! Your cataracts and huricanoes, spout till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks! You sulpsh'rous and thought-executing fire, vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts, singe my white head" (III. II. 1-3). The fool always stayed by his side and tried to convince Lear to go inside, "O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is better than this rain water out o'door" (III. II. 10-11). He doesn't care about his well being he just wants to help the King...