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The fool is a very important character in a Shakespeare play as he fulfills two important functions:

  1. He has licence to speak truth to power with no holds barred – in a context where no-one else dare do that, for fear of their lives –  and he acts like the chorus in Greek drama – commenting on the characters and the action for the benefit of the audience.
  2. He is usually the wisest character in the play. The other characters refer to him as ‘the fool’ and we usually know him as ‘the jester.’ He does not normally have a dramatic role but some fools do.

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