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  • Role of the fool
    • Provides the audience with insight
      • Warning to James I
        • "This cold night will turn us all to fools" METAPHO for James I        rein          i.e little hope
          • CONTEXT Less that 2 months before KL performed, James gave speech urging the descision to unify Scotland and England. This evoked distrustfulness in the jacobean people of james.
            • Also rumoured to not be distributing the wealth in a rightful way.
      • Makes audience consider who the fool really is
        • "Truth's a dog must to a kennel he must be whipped out, when the lady brach may stand by the fire and stink" WHIPPED = pun
          • (Society banishes and punishes people for telling the truth)
      • Evokes feelings of pathos is audience by referring to lear as if he were family
        • "nuncle" connotations of an affectionate family relationship - Lear calls out to him on heath and considers the fools suffering. In return the fool remails steadfastly loyal
        • CATHARSIS  pity comes from the idea that audience feels pity for these tragic heroes who aren't bad people but ones who through their own fatal flaw (hubris) suffer
    • Provides Lear with insight: voice of conscience/ alter-ego
      • Initially extremely critical of   Lear      'bitter fool'
        • "dost thou call me a fool, boy?"// "All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with"
          • Never punished for what he says "all-licensed"
      • Helps Lear to understand the true worth of people: emotional vs financial worth
        • "Though hadst little wit in thy bald crown when thou gavest thy golden one away" Metaphore
        • "then poor Cordelia" [CORDELIA]
      • Opens Lears eyes to sycophance
        • "Nuncle, The hedge sparrow fed the cuckoo so long That it's had it head bit off by its young" Illustration of ingratitude
          • CRITICS: some believe it was actually the fools endless harping that drove him mad...most believe however he serves a positive function.
    • Relieves tension (comic relief)
      • Flipiant remark about poor Tom's clothing "Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed"
      • Animal imagery: Thou bor'st thine ***"    Pun           Ie. Donkey
        • CONTEXT: reffering to fable of old man who was worried about overloading his *** so he carried him.
    • Intro
      • CONTEXT: Jesters often kept by monarch to provide witty analysis of contemporary behaviour and to remind the sovereign of his humanity - Lears food fulfils this role
      • Fool plays a number of roles: truth teller, insight provider and a vehicle for comic relief


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