At the beginning of the play, King Lear appears as a powerful and well-loved ruler. 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 fact that the Fool does not make an appearance without King Lear also reinforces this argument. Other sources also suggest that Cordelia has links to the Fool, and her absence of the majority of the play is filled in by the Fool, which could also be the reason why the Fool does not appear in the final stage of the play, where Cordelia has returned.
It has also been common for the roles of the Fool and Cordelia to be shared by the same actor in the stage productions of King Lear, emphasizing the points made by this theory and making the theory obvious to the audience by making the link not only theoretical and abstract, but physical also.
Sight is explored thoroughly and is linked closely to the Fool, making his role all the more significant. The Fool provides basic wisdom and reasoning for the King at much needed times. The Fool also works as amusement for Lear in times of sadness and is also one of the only people besides the Duke of Kent and Cordelia who are willing to stand up to the King.
The Fool works as the "inner conscience" of Lear throughout the play. The Fool shows Lear the side of reasoning and tries to persuade Lear that it was wrong to banish Cordelia It is a storm without clearing. In this version of reality, faith is absurd. The play is set in the pagan era, where King Lear loses all his faith in the gods. However, we see the need for Christian revelation in the hopelessness of the play.
We also see in the character of the Fool a character who resembles the wisdom and words of the Apostle Paul "Let no man deceive himself. The Fool in King Lear is such a character. Named Fool and the epitome of foolishness he could be heard and yet not listened to. It can be said that coming from a lower class the politics do not concern him so personally so he is able to stand back from the situations and see the reasonable decision.
He has also been serving Lear for a long time and is able to see how the relationships and politics work inside the court; therefore his advice is valuable.
Even though his advice is not acted upon it still gives the Fool a role as a measure of true loyalty and integrity, contrasting evil characters such as Goneril and Regan. As a measure of heroic qualities he reassures the audience that there is some goodness in the world. On occasions he speaks to the audience directly to give warnings of the impending disasters.
By addressing the audience the Fool is able to establish a relationship that no other character manages to do. He also voices the concerns of the audience on stage. Like Kent the Fool speaks truthfully offering wisdom, however Kent speaks as an equal. The Fool is simply a servant to the King, although in reality he is the friend that Lear has failed to recognise. So when the Fool wishes to provide Lear with a touch of wisdom he usually does it through riddles and jokes, disguising the harshness of his comments.
It can be said that coming from a lower class the politics do not concern him so personally so he is able to stand back from the situations and see the reasonable decision. Order now The Fool provides basic wisdom and reasoning for the King at much needed times. Often living for many years in court they could become an intimate friend of the employer, yet the strict rules of society meant that he could never be called a friend, as an aristocrat could never be seen to have a servant for a close companion. It is not the same for all the characters as Lear and the Fool are able to help Edgar endure and learn from his own mistakes.
There may be another explanation of the function of the Foot.
Although he seems to have great insight into much of the plays main events, he seems not to have any real influence on both the plot as well as the outcome of the play. At the beginning of the play, King Lear appears as a powerful and well-loved ruler. He allows us to see more than just words on the paper; we're given a multi dimensional insight into a character. One should notice the importance of the Fool very early in the play. For example, when Lear is arguing with the storm and stripping away his clothing he could be laughed at.
Insanity, the state of being seriously mentally ill; a form of madness However, the fact that the Fool believes Cordelia has been blessed by being sent away against her will as it means she will be away from danger of the imminent conflict between Lear and his other daughters.
Although he is cynical about human nature he is totally loyal and utterly giving with no expectation of gratitude in return. Examples of madness are insanity, foolishness, idiocy and many more. The action leads to civil strife, his insanity, and his ultimate death. Producers greatly diminished both King Lear and Lear as a result. The Fool in King Lear is such a character.
The two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, give King Lear flattering answers and therefore receive great amounts of finer land. The action leads to civil strife, his insanity, and his ultimate death. However, we see the need for Christian revelation in the hopelessness of the play. The fool seems to exist outside the play appearing and disappearing without warning.
However, the fact that the Fool believes Cordelia has been blessed by being sent away against her will as it means she will be away from danger of the imminent conflict between Lear and his other daughters.
In Elizabethan times, the role of a fool, or court jester, was to professionally entertain others, specifically the king. In Scene 4, Lear asks for his Fool twice.