fools and jesters
Few fools are to be found in the 18th cent. Court life became more dignified and ceremonious; taste changed and buffoonery went out of fashion; the great teeming households full of servants and retainers gave way to a more private existence; card-playing and conversation left little room for full-time jesters; 18th-cent. polite society no longer found dwarfs or little men funny in themselves. Shakespeare's fools—Touchstone and Lear's fool—have a more complex role, singing and diverting, but also acting as chorus on events. Their laughter is often shot through with melancholy and Olivia's clown brings down the curtain in Twelfth Night with ‘the rain it raineth every day’.
J. A. Cannon
"fools and jesters." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fools-and-jesters
"fools and jesters." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fools-and-jesters
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