A Tribute to Fools

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”
– William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

(Statue of The Fool at Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.)

At first glance, it seems Shakespeare is mocking the fool. Even the statue seems to show a clown providing mindless entertainment perhaps.

But Shakespeare’s “fools” actually run deeper. In his plays, the fool has the ability to reflect, give logical and witty responses, and has the freedom to speak his mind, crossing the boundary between the social classes of the common people and the court.

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
– William Shakespeare, As You Like It


This angle of the statue shows “the other side” of the fool. He is carrying the fool persona on his finger, but his real face doesn’t resemble it at all. Is he having the last laugh? Who’s fooling who?

“O noble fool! A worthy fool!”
– William Shakespeare, As You Like It

So today, I pay tribute to all the fools who are able to pull it off 🙂


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