The Fool Character Analysis

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One of the characters that derives great intrigue from his inclusion in Shakespeare’s plays is the fool. Throughout the years of writing plays, Shakespeare has been known to utilize this character and in some aspects, his role has been adjusted and the differences can certainly be seen. His roles differ from one play to another and there is a sense of metamorphosis from clown to gentleman in society’s eyes while analysing the four plays one after another. In this essay, I am first going to discuss the actors Will Kemp and Robert Armin that were available for Shakespeare to utilize as his fools and how they affected the way Shakespeare allotted the role of the fool in his plays. After tackling the actors, I am going to discuss the role of the…show more content…
All four directors in the Royal Shakespeare Company that Michael Billington interviews agree that while "Sir Toby is the motor that drives the plot, Feste is the character who determines the mood." This can be seen with the songs that Feste sings and the remarks he makes, especially when he is with Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew and also with Duke Orsino in the second act in the third and fourth scenes respectively. Feste is not a sheer mischief-making antagonist, but a fool who sees the truth and is more cunning than his betters, or at least, smarter than they think he is. Like Touchstone, he claims his privilege of licensed criticism and is still projected as a shrewd artificial fool. The characters within the play also seem to meditate on the fool’s intelligence both in As You Like It and Twelfth Night. In this play, Viola’s remarks about Feste, just like Jacques in As You Like It, makes her seem to hint that a fool needs to be wise as he analyses everyday life. This is when she says: “This fellow is wise enough to play the Fool,/ And to do that well, craves a kind of wit”. This play makes the fool appear more cunning and gives him a certain amount of credit for that, especially in the sub-plot with
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