King Lear: The Fool

“Since my young ladies going to France, sir, the Fool hath much pined away” Close relationship between the Fool and Cordelia, misses her goodness. This why he is so cruel to the King?
“If thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb” Fool repeatedly makes the same joke throughout the scene, making fun of Lear and trying to make him see his mistake
“Thou gav’st thy golden one away” Metaphor with eggs, break crown in two and gave it to R and C. Gold as in crown, gold as in Cordelia.
“Thou mad’st thy daughters thy mothers” Lear seeks to regress back to a childlike state, Fool sees this weakness. Is it because Lear has no wife, no maternal figure? He wants to be looked after, doesn’t want to be independent.
“They’ll have me whipped for speaking true… lying… for holding my peace” Just as Lear whips the Fool, the Fool whips Lear with his sarcasm and jokes, trying to break Lear down.
“I am a Fool, thou art nothing” At least the Fool has an identity within court, Lear has given his away – reduced himself to nothing and without his status he does not know himself.
“The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, that it had its head bit off by its young” Fool desperately trying to convey to Lear that he has made a mistake and R and G will betray him. Reversal of natural order.
“Lear’s shadow” Fool mocking Lear? or reminding him that he has fallen, and is a pitiful reminder of his old self.
“Father’s that wear rags do make their children blind, fathers who bear bags shall see their children kind. Fortune, that arrant wh*re, never turns the key to th’poor” Fool points out that Lear is being used and his daughters are tricking him, do not love or respect him, just using him for his money. Poor people never get lucky, always at the bottom of the wheel of fortune.
“All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men” Imagery of nose and eyes, senses and how they are used – sight and blindness. In a day and age where men less reliant on senses.
“Here’s a night pities neither wise men nor fools” All equal in death and hardship. Who is the wise man and who is the Fool? Does Lear use the Fool to show that any class can be wise and intelligent?
“When priests are more in word than matter… the realm of Albion come to great confusion. When every case in law is right; no squire in debt nor no poor knight…” Fool prophecies that corruption, immorality and unhappiness will come to Britain – but he also predicts that it will be followed by a golden age.
“Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had all been shamed” Fool serves as a comic injection into the play, very morbid and tragic. Provides comic relief. Also reminder of themes of nudity and baseness.
“This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen” Highlights all good characters are exposed in the storm, and therefore will go through some change and come out of it stronger.
“And I’ll go to bed at noon” Fool’s last lines – lost his usefulness. Lear loses sense? Fool his safety blanket, must go in order for Lear to learn and change? Cordelia returns and Fool no longer needed.
“My poor fool is hanged” Fool or Cordelia? Lear lost the two people he has loved and been dependent on throughout the play