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Twelfth Night Clown Essay

Twelfth Night Clown Essay - Kyle Goro October 1 2007...

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Kyle Goro October 1, 2007 08G:001:060 The Significance of the Clown In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night , the clown's role appears to be somewhat minor, but in actuality his role is quite significant. The fool acts as a commentator on the actions of the other characters in a way. Shakespeare's contrast of the fool's proclaimed foolishness with the true and unconscious foolishness of others is important to his role's contribution to the play. Through the clown’s commentating, conversations, and actions we see that his significance to the play is much more than comedic relief. The clown's appearance in the play is held off until the fifth scene of act one. In this scene the reader is introduced to the clown through a conversation with Maria. In this scene his contribution to the play is revealed. “Wit, and't be thy will, put me into good fooling. Those wits that think they have thee do very oft prove fools, and I that am sure I lack thee may pass for a wise man…“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit”” (1.5:29-33). These lines indicate that the fool's presence is not merely comic relief through silly acts and shows that the role of the fool requires intelligence. The fool also recognizes that people who consider themselves to have wits are usually not witty at all and it is their lack of self-knowledge that makes them fools. The topic of lack of self-knowledge is seen throughout the comedy as it contributes to the theme of love as
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