The Wisdom of King Lear's Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear

1934 Words8 Pages
The Wisdom of King Lear's Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear King Lear's fool is undoubtedly one of the wisest characters in the play. He is not only able to accurately analyze a situation which many other characters are blind to, but he is also able to foreshadow the actions of many characters and many other incidents to come. The main instruction the fool gives to the king is to beware of doing things that are unnatural, such as giving his inheritance, (splitting his kingdom among his daughters) to his daughters before he his dead. By doing this unnaturally, Lear must face many adverse consequences, such as losing his identity, self-worth, and respect from his daughters. Many connections between the fool and Cordelia, Kent and Poor Tom are evident, mainly because they all remain true to the King throughout the entire play. Also, all four of them are not rewarded for their loyalty in the beginning and Cordelia and Kent are both "banished" from the kingdom by Lear. These four are the true selfless characters in the play, all a source virtue that the other characters lack. 1. "Mark it, nuncle: 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 no more Than two tens to a score." (I, IV, 115.) -One significant irony in the play is the wisdom the Fool has. This advice the Fool is giving to Lear carries a great weight in foreshadowing mistakes, and solutions for them that Lear will make. -The Fool's constant advice to Lear goes unheeded by Lear, but ironically is... ... middle of paper ... ...ions to great ironies in life reflects his opinion of Lear's choice to split his kingship up among Goneril and Regan. -He is showing us the wrongfulness of Lear's decision, and how it defies against all rules of nature. -All the things that are meant to be are not, which for Lear is going to cause him suffering. -He should've waited to die and then pass on his kingdom to his daughters, and he did not, he should've given Cordelia most of his kingdom and he gave her none. 20. "And I'll go to bed at noon." (III, VI, 85.) -This is a response to Lear's ironic statement: "We'll go to supper I' the morning." (III, VI, 83.) -The Fool is obviously responding to Lear's foolish statement by paralleling it with a statement just as senseless. -This is the last line the Fool has in the play, in a sense his sleep to symbolize a "death" of his character in the play.

More about The Wisdom of King Lear's Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear

Open Document