This fellow is wise enough to play the fool

#Shakespeare’s #TwelfthNight

Literature & Life Spring 2017

These are Viola’s words about Feste the fool in 12th Night a play which strangely mirrors the insanity of our own world today. To Viola prior to this wonderful summation of Feste’s talents, he says to her: “Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere”. And almost in the same breath he says “To see this age! A sentence is but a chevril (kidskin) glove to a good wit. How quickly the wrong side may be turned outward!” Feste is a wise fool because he sees through the masquerades of the world. He sees its supreme stupidity, its lies and inconsistency and he tries with all his wit to reveal the truth of the situations which confront him: the stupidity of Olivia’s excessive mourning; the adolscent self-indulgence of Toby and AgueCheek: “Youth’s a stuff will not endure”.

So the image of the world in the…

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