Fools And Kings In King Lear


Shakespeare's dynamic use of irony in King Lear aids the microcosmic illustration of not only 16th century Britain, but of all times and places. The theme that best develops this illustration is the discussion of fools and their foolishness. This discussion allows
Shakespeare not only to portray human nature, but also to illicit a sort of Socratic introspection into the nature of society's own ignorance as well.
One type of fool that Shakespeare involves in King Lear is the immoral fool. Edmund, for instance, may be seen as a fool in the sense that he is morally weak. His foolishness lies in the fact that he has no sense of right or justice, which rewards him with an untimely, ...

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foolishness in his belief that malevolence is the force that drives one to greatness or prosperity. It also illustrates the bastard's mistaken belief that by fooling his father, he might be able to eliminate Edgar, the competition for Gloucester's title, and possibly rid himself of his father in the same
act. This is a prime example of immoral foolishness in King Lear.
Another type of fool in King Lear is the ignorant fool. Whereas characters such as Goneril, Regan, and Edmund are fools because of their tendency to harm others for self-gain, the ignorant foolish are not necessarily driven to evil. However, the evil are almost always driven to foolish actions. Gloucester, arguably Lear's foil, puts forth an interesting
perspective in the play. His character is presented as one who is blind to the truth, and ironically, one who becomes physically blind in the end. In actuality, it is his blindness to the truth of Edgar's love and Edmund's greed and apathy that ...

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Added: 9/22/2005 12:16:23 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1109
Pages: 5

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