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Unformatted text preview: In the stage directions of the First Folio, Touchstone is designated as being a "clowne"; later, he is referred to as a "fool." Basically, the term "clowne" was more applicable to a country bumpkin, whereas the term "fool" was applied to the professional jester that is, the fool, the king's jester, dressed in motley. In reading Elizabethan plays, it is important to keep this important distinction in mind. In Act I, Scene 2, Celia and Rosalind refer to Touchstone as a "natural." Here, Touchstone's character changes yet a bit more; Rosalind is saying that he is a born fool or idiot, but this is wholly out of keeping with what we know of Rosalind's character. Obviously, this is most likely a pun on the words "natural" and "nature," words that occur frequently in the scene. The comic banter of the two girls here is used as a contrast to the somber opening scene, and it is also used to establish the...
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- Fall '08