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Word Count: 1,263
The first time the Fool enters in Shakespeares King Lear he immediately offers Kent his coxcomb or jesters hat Lear asks the Fool My pretty knave how dost thou 1498 This initial action and inquiry of the Fool is representative of the relationship between the Fool and the other characters throughout the entire play In general the Fool will say something nonsensical or act seemingly illogically and then explain his words andor actions to let the reader know that he is actually the wisest man in the play In the case mentioned above the Fool unexplainably offers his coxcomb to Kent At first it seems that the Fool is just being foolish for even the King cannot figure out the meaning of the Fools action and words After he explains himself however the reader realizes that the Fool is not only not a fool but in fact has a sharper wit than the Kings A similar situation presents itself in Cervantes Don Quixote Even more so than King Lear Don Quixote is out of his mind and even though his squire Sancho Panza is constantly trying to help Don Quixote recapture his wits by pointing out his various insane hallucinations Don Quixote generally refuses to listen to his inferior servant It should be noted that both a kings fool and a knights squire are positions of servitude the fool is used for entertainment purposes while the squire is a sort of knight janitor pun intended But as both Shakespeare and Cervantes point out these servants of powerful men are being used for the wrong purposes and their words of wisdom are brushed aside by the men who need them most If King Lear and Don Quixote had listened to their foolish servants they both would have been spared great pain and ultimately their lives By the end of both King Lear and Don Quixote the reader is left wondering why were the idiots the kings
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