Shakespeare’s Great Stage of Fools by Robert H. Bell (auth.)

By Robert H. Bell (auth.)

This energetic, lucid e-book undertakes an in depth and provocative examine of Shakespeare's fascination with clowns, fools, and fooling. via shut analyzing of performs over the total process Shakespeare's theatrical occupation, Bell highlights the joys, wit, insights, and mysteries of a few of Shakespeare's such a lot vivid and infrequently vexing figures.

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Shakespeare’s Great Stage of Fools

This energetic, lucid ebook undertakes a close and provocative examine of Shakespeare's fascination with clowns, fools, and fooling. via shut examining of performs over the full process Shakespeare's theatrical occupation, Bell highlights the joys, wit, insights, and mysteries of a few of Shakespeare's so much bright and sometimes vexing figures.

Extra resources for Shakespeare’s Great Stage of Fools

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23–25). 25–29). The selves proliferate like the phases of the moon, that fitting sign for the fool’s metamorphoses. Fabulous Falstaff can be what he will and as he likes it, if only provisionally. He tries out various honorific titles: Diana’s forester, gentleman of the shade, minion of the moon. He also sports several names and a host of epithets: Sir John, Falstaff, Jack, “that huge bombard of sack, that stuff’d cloak-bag of guts . . 451–54), et cetera. No Shakespeare play provides more ways to identify someone, for this great fool is no one thing and virtually everything.

36 By “exorcising opposition,” Touchstone underwrites the romantic comedy despite his skeptical qualms and cynical forays. The fool is at cross-purposes. Touchstone provides a crucial perspective in this play of perspectives, a point of view that is sharply articulated and valued yet weighed in the balances and found wanting. A prudent, commonsense commentator, Touchstone is also a commentary on the limits of common sense, a necessary but inadequate guide. A fool does not necessarily unmask illusions to reveal reality.

214). Now, Falstaff appears asking his page for the doctor’s diagnosis of his urine, and the boy’s jesting rejoinder, like so many jokes in this play, is not cheering. The History of Folly in the Henriad ● 43 So pressing is mortality in part 2 that Falstaff no longer asserts or pretends to believe that he is exempt from nature’s law. “Well,” he concedes to his adversary the Chief Justice, “I cannot last ever . . 213–17). 271); frequently his jokes limp or backfire. 199–201). Surveying his pathetic recruits, he relies on wordplay that would once have been too obvious to utter: “Is thy name Mouldy?

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