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function of fool

            In King Lear, by William Shakespeare , the fool is one of the most important characters in the play. Rarely has there existed a fool of such cruelty and common sense as the fool in King Lear. This fool is blessed with a melodious voice of reason, which he uses throughout the play as a function of perpetuating Lear's madness. .
             The fool's original and supposed role is that of entertainer although Lear's Fool is a more convoluted version, as he is an ironical paradox of love, cruelty and common sense. His affection for Lear is demonstrated when he urges the King to come out of the storm: "Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blessing." (III, ii, 11) The Fool primarily recognizes the severity of the storm, and advises Lear to forget his pride, so that he may enjoy a comfortable surrounding. The Fool attempts to make Lear ascertain his follybut is unsuccessful . When he realizes this, the Fool tells Lear: "I am better than thou art now. I am a fool, thou art nothing." (I, iv, 184) By pointing out his superiority to the King, he cruelly underscores Lear's senility, while returning to the continuous theme of "nothing," constructed wholly by Lear. The gratuitous quality of his comments, as well as Lear's seeming disregard for them and his continuous insistence of treating the Fool as though he were his child accentuate the Fool's cruelty. The Fool acts as a way to quantify the king's sanity. Lear's madness increases throughout the play, and the fool's presence emphasizes the moments where an alteration in Lear's state of mind in revealed. .
             Lear's fool is untouchable as the insightful, wise and holy fool who is under the protection of the gods or some prophetic powers, and is the "all licensed jester." Child-like in his character, loved, pampered and indulged he enjoys the King's good graces despite his continuous devastating remarks. He often tells Lear "I"ll teach you" or "you were foolish and still are.

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