A Scholarly Look at Shakespeare's Clowns and Fools

Kirstin Fawcett
OUPblog / OUPblog

Watch (or read) a few of William Shakespeare’s plays and you’ll start noticing recurring character types: Tragic monarchs like King Lear or Macbeth, passionate young lovers like Romeo and Juliet, and strong, independent women—Viola in Twelfth Night and As You Like It’s Rosalind—who don male disguises, to name a few.

In the infographic below, Oxford University Press’s blog (OUPblog) lists facts about another one of the Bard's favorite stock characters: the Shakespearean fool. The fool is an entertaining, clown-like figure who either provides minor entertainment or doles out sage bits of wisdom to more important characters. To learn more about the ubiquitous jester, read on or download the infographic as a PDF and click it for links to relevant scholarly articles [PDF].

[h/t OUPblog]