King Lear

What is the role of the fool in Act 1?

What is the role of the fool in Act 1 so far? Give a long answer if possible.

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Regardless of how well Lear has been fooled by the artifice of his older daughters, he allows the Fool to counteract his elderly need for praise and love. Not surprisingly in Shakespeare's plays, the Fool is often the least foolish, directing the lead characters to their miscues in slightly comedic or condescending ways. His singing to Lear illustrates further the use of language and the presentation of language which Shakespeare employs to distinguish between different characters' qualities or the different intentions of single characters.



Anytime the fool is in the scene, we know he is there for two purposes; first, he entertains the King as much as possible, but his "goofy" talk and his language in which he says more than one thing at the same time, is actually his way of giving the King advice that Lear often needs. Lear often flies off the handle and makes decisions that he later regrets. If he listened to the fool, he might make fewer mistakes in the way he treats other people.