King Lear

Fool Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Lear's jester, who accompanies him through much of the play. Although his statements come out as riddles, the Fool offers insight into Lear's mistakes and their consequences. Insofar as he stays with Lear, despite all his mockery and criticisms (and at his peril, during the violent storm in Act 3), the Fool, like Kent, Gloucester, and Cordelia, proves himself loyal.

Fool Quotes in King Lear

The King Lear quotes below are all either spoken by Fool or refer to Fool. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fathers, Children, and Siblings Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of King Lear published in 2004.
Act 1, scene 4 Quotes
"Thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides and left nothing in the middle."
Related Characters: Fool (speaker), King Lear
Page Number: 1.4.191-192
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
"Here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools."
Related Characters: Fool (speaker)
Page Number: 3.2.14-15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Fool Character Timeline in King Lear

The timeline below shows where the character Fool appears in King Lear. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 4
Authority and Order Theme Icon
Fooling and Madness Theme Icon
Blindness and Insight Theme Icon
...commoner, to offer his services to Lear. Lear accepts. He sends Kent to fetch his Fool. (full context)
Act 1, scene 5
Fathers, Children, and Siblings Theme Icon
Authority and Order Theme Icon
Disintegration, Chaos, Nothingness Theme Icon
Fooling and Madness Theme Icon
Blindness and Insight Theme Icon
As he prepares to head for Regan's castle himself, Lear is teased by his Fool, who predicts that Regan will be as like Goneril as "a crab […] to a... (full context)
Act 2, scene 4
Fathers, Children, and Siblings Theme Icon
Authority and Order Theme Icon
Disintegration, Chaos, Nothingness Theme Icon
Fooling and Madness Theme Icon
Lear, his Fool, a Gentleman, and his other followers arrive at Gloucester's castle. Confused not to have found... (full context)