foolear Role of the Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear

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The Role of the Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear

In the play King Lear, by William Shakespeare, there are many intriguing characters. Perhaps the most intriguing of them all is the fool. The fool seems to exist outside the play appearing and disappearing without warning. The fool is, however, a necessary character to the evolution of Lear's character, since he is the personification of truth and reason. The fool serves to show Lear how he is going insane, as well as to attempt to delay this inevitability. The fool also demonstrates to Lear the truths about people around him, and tries to point out what treachery and deceit they wish upon him. When Lear is too far-gone to heed the advice and knowledge of the fool, he vanishes without a trace no longer useful, or needed.

Right from the beginning of the play Lear shows sings of insanity. Dividing up his kingdom, for the reasons he stated, 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 entire time he is i...
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