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Role Of Fools In Renaissance Drama

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The role of fool in Renaissance drama with Specific reference to Touchstone Fools in Shakespeare’s plays are unique. The clowns or fool figures are one of the most fascinating stage characters in Shakespeare’s work of art. A few of his fools have major roles in his works. Their importance and personalities may vary according to the play but their frequent appearance shows how noteworthy and relevant they are in Shakespeare’s theatre. Chris Wiley, in his essay, “Fooling Around: The Court Jesters of Shakespeare” divides the fools into three categories: ‘Clowns’, who turn farce into precise science, ‘Dunces’, who use their lack of intelligence as the medium of human and the princes of fooling, and ‘court jesters’ who turn fooling around into a respectable position. He calls the jester, a ‘restrained down” and an “educated dunces”. Critic Roger Ellis has observed that the fools were frequently given the reign to comment on society and their action changes the social view, Shakespearean fools demonstrate a subversive potential. Critic Roberta Mullini argued that such characters can be constructed as disrupting the traditional…show more content…
He is in fact the only jester to abandon his master, Duke Ferdinand by escaping into the woods of Arden. Robert Hill Goldsmith calls his early complaints and vulgar nature as “an attack on the pastoral tradition. Also Chris Wiley comments that Touchstone’s vulgarity and tendency to complain makes the readers dislike him, but Shakespeare created Touchstone to serve as a parodist. For example, in the play, Duke senior compares his life in exile to a vacation. He says, “hath not old custom made this life more sweet/ than that of painted pomp”. Touchstone destroys this romantic ideal by complaining about walking through the forest. He complains, “Ay, now am I in Ardenne; the more fool I/ when I was at home I was in a better
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