A Fool’s Wisdom


| 11/4/2009 4:45:25 PM


Wise FoolSometimes it’s smart to play the fool. There are three types of fools, Michael Dirda writes for In Character: real, professional, and unsuspecting. Shakespeare’s King Lear thinks himself wise, until his best plans fall apart and he realizes that he is an unsuspecting fool. Professionals fools include con men, jesters, and other hucksters who “aims to reinforce his client’s conviction of his own superiority.” And the unsuspecting fools are the innocents, the idiot savants, the “saintly or holy fools” who “possess a primitive, almost prelapsarian goodness.” They’re also the ones most apt to speak up and say, “the emperor has no clothes!”

Source: In Character





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