Harlequin is the best-known of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell'arte. The role is traditionally believed to have been introduced by Zan Ganassa in the late 16th century, was definitively popularized by the Italian actor Tristano Martinelli in Paris in 1584–1585, became a stock character after Martinelli's death in 1630; the Harlequin is characterized by his chequered costume. His role is that of a light-hearted and astute servant acting to thwart the plans of his master, pursuing his own love interest, with wit and resourcefulness competing with the sterner and melancholic Pierrot, he develops into a prototype of the romantic hero. Harlequin inherits his physical agility and his trickster qualities, as well as his name, from a mischievous "devil" character in medieval passion plays; the Harlequin character first appeared in England early in the 17th century and took centre stage in the derived genre of the Harlequinade, developed in the early 18th century by John Rich.
As the Harlequinade portion of English dramatic genre pantomime developed, Harlequin was paired with the character Clown. As developed by Joseph Grimaldi around 1800, Clown became the mischievous and brutish foil for the more sophisticated Harlequin, who became more of a romantic character; the most influential such in Victorian England were William Payne and his sons the Payne Brothers, the latter active during the 1860s and 1870s. Although the origins of the Harlequin are obscure, there are several theories for how the character came to be. One theory posits that the name is derived from a bird with polychromatic feathers called a Harle Another theory suggest that the name Harlequin is taken from that of a mischievous "devil" or "demon" character in popular French passion plays, it originates with an Old French term herlequin, first attested in the 11th century, by the chronicler Orderic Vitalis, who recounts a story of a monk, pursued by a troop of demons when wandering on the coast of Normandy at night.
These demons were led by a masked, club-wielding giant and they were known as familia herlequin. This medieval French version of the Germanic Wild Hunt, Mesnée d'Hellequin, has been connected to the English figure of Herla cyning. Hellequin was depicted as a black-faced emissary of the devil, roaming the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell; the physical appearance of Hellequin offers an explanation for the traditional colours of Harlequin's red-and-black mask. The name's origin could be traced to a knight from the 9th century, Hellequin of Boulogne, who died fighting the Normans and originated a legend of devils. Cantos XXI and XXII from Dante's Inferno there is a devil by the name of Alichino; the similarities between the devil in Dante's Inferno and the Arlecchino are more than cosmetic and that the prank like antics of the devils in the aforementioned antics reflect some carnivalesque aspects. The first known appearance on stage of Hellequin is dated to 1262, the character of a masked and hooded devil in Jeu da la Feuillière by Adam de la Halle, it became a stock character in French passion plays.
The re-interpretation of the "devil" stock character as a zanni character of the commedia dell'arte took place in the 16th century in France. Zan Ganassa, whose troupe is first mentioned in Mantua in the late 1560s, is one of the earliest known actors suggested to have performed the part, although there is "little hard evidence to support." Ganassa performed in France in 1571, if he did play the part there, he left the field open for another actor to take up the role, when he took his troupe to Spain permanently in 1574. Among the earliest depictions of the character are a Flemish painting in the Museum of Bayeux and several woodblock prints dating from the 1580s in the Fossard collection, discovered by Agne Beijer in the 1920s among uncatalogued items in the Nationalmuseum Stockholm. Tristano Martinelli is the first actor known to have used the name'Harlequin' for the secondo zanni role, he first performed the part in France in 1584 and only brought the character to Italy, where he became known as Arlecchino.
The motley costume is sometimes attributed to Martinelli, who wore a linen costume of colourful patches, a hare-tail on his cap to indicate cowardice. Martinelli's Harlequin had a black leather half-mask, a moustache and a pointed beard, he was successful playing at court and becoming a favourite of Henry IV of France, to whom he addressed insolent monologues. Martinelli's great success contributed to the perpetuation of his interpretation of the zanni role, along with the name of his character, after his death in 1630, among others, by Nicolò Zecca, active c. 1630 in Bologna as well as Turin and Mantua. The character was performed in Paris at the Comédie-Italienne in Italian by Giovan Battista Andreini and Angelo Costantini and in French as Arlequin in the 1660s by Dominique Biancolelli, who combined the zanni types, "making his Arlecchino witty and fluent in a croaking voice, which became as traditional as the squawk of Punch." The Italians were expelled from France in 1697 for satirizing King Louis XIV's second wife, Madame de Maintenon, but returned in 1716, when Tommaso Antonio Vicentini became famous in the part.
The rhombus shape of the patches arose by adaptation to the Paris fashion of the 17th century by Biancolelli. The primary aspect of Arlecchino was his
Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italy, popular in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte is known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Commedia is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia dell'arte are the lazzi. A lazzo is a joke or "something foolish or witty" well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia dell'arte is pantomime, used by the character Arlecchino; the characters of the commedia represent fixed social types and stock characters, such as foolish old men, devious servants, or military officers full of false bravado. The characters are exaggerated "real characters", such as a know-it-all doctor called Il Dottore, a greedy old man called Pantalone, or a perfect relationship like the Innamorati.
Many troupes were formed to perform commedia dell'arte, including I Gelosi, Confidenti Troupe, Desioi Troupe, Fedeli Troupe. Commedia dell'arte was performed outside on platforms or in popular areas such as a piazza; the form of theatre originated in Italy, but travelled throughout Europe and to Moscow. The commedia genesis may be related to carnival in Venice, where by 1570 the author/actor Andrea Calmo had created the character Il Magnifico, the precursor to the vecchio Pantalone. In the Flaminio Scala scenario for example, Il Magnifico persists and is interchangeable with Pantalone, into the seventeenth century. While Calmo's characters were not masked, it is uncertain at what point the characters donned the mask. However, the connection to carnival would suggest that masking was a convention of carnival and was applied at some point; the tradition in Northern Italy is centered in Mantua and Venice, where the major companies came under the aegis of the various dukes. Concomitantly, a Neapolitan tradition emerged in the south and featured the prominent stage figure Pulcinella.
Pulcinella has been long associated with Naples, derived into various types elsewhere—the most famous as the puppet character Punch in England. Although commedia dell'arte flourished in Italy during the Mannerist period, there has been a long-standing tradition of trying to establish historical antecedents in antiquity. While it is possible to detect formal similarities between the commedia dell'arte and earlier theatrical traditions, there is no way to establish certainty of origin; some date the origins to the period of the Empire. The Atellan Farces of the Roman Empire featured crude "types" wearing masks with grossly exaggerated features and an improvised plot; some historians argue that Atellan stock characters, Maccus+Buccus, Manducus, are the primitive versions of the Commedia characters Pantalone, il Capitano. More recent accounts establish links to the medieval jongleurs, prototypes from medieval moralities, such as Hellequin; the first recorded commedia dell'arte performances came from Rome as early as 1551.
Commedia dell'arte was performed outdoors in temporary venues by professional actors who were costumed and masked, as opposed to commedia erudita, which were written comedies, presented indoors by untrained and unmasked actors. This view may be somewhat romanticized since records describe the Gelosi performing Tasso's Aminta, for example, much was done at court rather than in the street. By the mid-16th century, specific troupes of commedia performers began to coalesce, by 1568 the Gelosi became a distinct company. In keeping with the tradition of the Italian Academies, I Gelosi adopted as their impress the two-faced Roman god Janus. Janus symbolized both the comings and goings of this traveling troupe, the dual nature of the actor who impersonates the "other." The Gelosi performed in Northern Italy and France where they received protection and patronage from the King of France. Despite fluctuations the Gelosi maintained stability for performances with the "usual ten": "two vecchi, four innamorati, two zanni, a captain and a servetta".
It should be noted that commedia performed inside in court theatres or halls, as some fixed theatres such as Teatro Baldrucca in Florence. Flaminio Scala, a minor performer in the Gelosi published the scenarios of the commedia dell'arte around the start of the 17th century in an effort to legitimize the form—and ensure its legacy; these scenari are structured and built around the symmetry of the various types in duet: two zanni, vecchi and inamorati, etc. In commedia dell'arte, female roles were played by women, documented as early as the 1560s. In the 1570s, English theatre critics denigrated the troupes with their female actors. By the end of the 1570s, Italian prelates attempted to ban female performers. T
Costume is the distinctive style of dress of an individual or group that reflects their class, profession, nationality, activity or epoch. The term was traditionally used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as riding costume, swimming costume, dance costume, evening costume. Appropriate and acceptable costume is subject to changes in fashion and local cultural norms. "But sable is worn more in carriages, lined with real lace over ivory satin, worn over some smart costume suitable for an afternoon reception." A Woman's Letter from London. This general usage has been replaced by the terms "dress", "attire", "robes" or "wear" and usage of "costume" has become more limited to unusual or out-of-date clothing and to attire intended to evoke a change in identity, such as theatrical and mascot costumes. Before the advent of ready-to-wear apparel, clothing was made by hand; when made for commercial sale it was made, as late as the beginning of the 20th century, by "costumiers" women who ran businesses that met the demand for complicated or intimate female costume, including millinery and corsetry.
Costume comes from the same Italian word, inherited via French, which means custom. National costume or regional costume expresses local identity and emphasizes a culture's unique attributes, they are a source of national pride. Examples include Japanese kimono. In Bhutan there is a traditional national dress prescribed for men and women, including the monarchy; these have developed into a distinctive dress style. The dress worn by men is known as Gho, a robe worn up to knee-length and is fastened at the waist by a band called the Kera; the front part of the dress, formed like a pouch, in olden days was used to hold baskets of food and short dagger, but now it is used to keep cell phone and the betel nut called Doma. The dress worn by women consist of three pieces known as Kira and Wonju; the long dress which extends up to the ankle is Kira. The jacket worn above this is Tego, provided with Wonju, the inner jacket. However, while visiting the Dzong or monastery a long scarf or stoll, called Kabney is worn by men across the shoulder, in colours appropriate to their ranks.
Women wear scarfs or stolls called Rachus, made of raw silk with embroidery, over their shoulder but not indicative of their rank. "Costume" refers to a particular style of clothing worn to portray the wearer as a character or type of character at a social event in a theatrical performance on the stage or in film or television. In combination with other aspects of stagecraft, theatrical costumes can help actors portray characters' and their contexts as well as communicate information about the historical period/era, geographic location and time of day, season or weather of the theatrical performance; some stylized theatrical costumes, such as Harlequin and Pantaloon in the Commedia dell'arte, exaggerate an aspect of a character. A costume technician is a term used for a person that alters the costumes; the costume technician is responsible for taking the two dimensional sketch and translating it to create a garment that resembles the designer's rendering. It is important for a technician to keep the ideas of the designer in mind when building the garment.
Draping is the art of manipulating the fabric using pins and hand stitching to create structure on a body. This is done on a dress form to get the adequate shape for the performer. Cutting is the act of laying out fabric on a flat surface, using scissors to cut and follow along a pattern; these pieces are put together to create a final costume. It is easier to visualize the finished product It is hard to keep the fabric symmetric You are able to drape in your fashion fabric rather than making a muslin mockup Draping makes it difficult to replicate for multiple people There are no needs for patterns It can be hard to keep the grain of the fabric straight There is less waste when using the specific fabric from the start You are able to create your own pattern to fit a certain size You may need instructions to piece the fabric together It is easier to control the grain of the fabric as well as symmetry There is more ability to create many of the same garment The measurements can be accurate It takes time to see he final product The job of a costume technician is to construct and pattern the costumes for the play or performance.
The wardrobe supervisor oversees the wardrobe run of the show from backstage. They are responsible for maintaining the good condition of the costumes. Millinery known as hatmaking is the manufacturing of hats and headwear; the wearing of costumes is an important part of holidays developed from religious festivals such as Mardi Gras, Halloween. Mardi Gras costumes take the form of jesters and other fantasy characters. In modern times. Christmas costumes portray characters such as Santa Claus. In Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States the American version of a Santa suit and beard is popular. Easter costumes are associated with the Easter Bunny or other animal costumes. In Judaism, a common practice is to dress up on Purim. During this holiday, Jews celebrate the change of their destiny, they were delivered from being the victims of an evil decree against them and were instead allowed by the King to destroy their enemies. A quote from the Book of Esther, which
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, Elizabeth was declared illegitimate, her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel, she depended on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England, it was expected that Elizabeth would produce an heir. She was succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, she had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Queen of Scots. In government, Elizabeth was more moderate. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo". In religion, she was tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of Spain, she only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands and Ireland.
By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history; as she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her, celebrated in the portraits and literature of the day. Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era; the period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity. Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace and was named after her grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard, she was the second child of Henry VIII of England born in wedlock to survive infancy. Her mother was Anne Boleyn. At birth, Elizabeth was the heir presumptive to the throne of England, her older half-sister, had lost her position as a legitimate heir when Henry annulled his marriage to Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Anne, with the intent to sire a male heir and ensure the Tudor succession. She was baptised on 10 September 1533. A canopy was carried at the ceremony over the three-day old child by her uncle Viscount Rochford, Lord Hussey, Lord Thomas Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. Elizabeth was two years and eight months old when her mother was beheaded on 19 May 1536, four months after Catherine of Aragon's death from natural causes.
Elizabeth was deprived of her place in the royal succession. Eleven days after Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, in 1537. From his birth, Edward was undisputed heir apparent to the throne. Elizabeth was placed in his household and carried the chrisom, or baptismal cloth, at his christening. Elizabeth's first governess, Margaret Bryan, wrote that she was "as toward a child and as gentle of conditions as I knew any in my life". Catherine Champernowne, better known by her married name of Catherine "Kat" Ashley, was appointed as Elizabeth's governess in 1537, she remained Elizabeth's friend until her death in 1565. Champernowne taught Elizabeth four languages: French, Flemish and Spanish. By the time William Grindal became her tutor in 1544, Elizabeth could write English and Italian. Under Grindal, a talented and skilful tutor, she progressed in French and Greek. After Grindal died in 1548, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham, a sympathetic teacher who believed that learning should be engaging.
By the time her formal education ended in 1550, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation. At the end of her life, Elizabeth was believed to speak Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to the languages men
As You Like It
As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 and first published in the First Folio in 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility; as You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia to find safety and love, in the Forest of Arden. In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveller Jaques who speaks many of Shakespeare's most famous speeches. Jaques provides a sharp contrast to the other characters in the play, always observing and disputing the hardships of life in the country. Critical response has varied, with some critics finding the play a work of great merit and some finding it to be of lesser quality than other Shakespearean works; the play remains a favourite among audiences and has been adapted for radio and musical theatre. The piece has been a favourite of famous actors on stage and screen, notably Vanessa Redgrave, Juliet Stevenson, Maggie Smith, Rebecca Hall, Helen Mirren, Patti LuPone in the role of Rosalind and Alan Rickman, Stephen Spinella, Kevin Kline, Stephen Dillane, Ellen Burstyn in the role of Jaques.
The play is set in a duchy in France, but most of the action takes place in a location called the Forest of Arden. This may be intended as the Ardennes, a forested region covering an area located in southeast Belgium, western Luxembourg and northeastern France, or Arden, near Shakespeare's home town, the ancestral origin of his mother's family—who incidentally were called Arden. Frederick has exiled his older brother, Duke Senior. Duke Senior's daughter, has been permitted to remain at court because she is the closest friend and cousin of Frederick's only child, Celia. Orlando, a young gentleman of the kingdom who at first sight has fallen in love with Rosalind, is forced to flee his home after being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver. Frederick becomes banishes Rosalind from court. Celia and Rosalind decide to flee together accompanied by the court fool, with Rosalind disguised as a young man and Celia disguised as a poor lady. Rosalind, now disguised as Ganymede, Celia, now disguised as Aliena, arrive in the Arcadian Forest of Arden, where the exiled Duke now lives with some supporters, including "the melancholy Jaques", a malcontent figure, introduced weeping over the slaughter of a deer.
"Ganymede" and "Aliena" do not encounter the Duke and his companions. Instead, they meet Corin, an impoverished tenant, offer to buy his master's crude cottage. Orlando and his servant Adam, find the Duke and his men and are soon living with them and posting simplistic love poems for Rosalind on the trees. Rosalind in love with Orlando, meets him as Ganymede and pretends to counsel him to cure him of being in love. Ganymede says that "he" will take Rosalind's place and that "he" and Orlando can act out their relationship; the shepherdess, with whom Silvius is in love, has fallen in love with Ganymede, though "Ganymede" continually shows that "he" is not interested in Phebe. Touchstone, has fallen in love with the dull-witted shepherdess and tries to woo her, but is forced to be married first. William, another shepherd, attempts to marry Audrey as well, but is stopped by Touchstone, who threatens to kill him "a hundred and fifty ways." Silvius, Phebe and Orlando are brought together in an argument with each other over who will get whom.
Ganymede says he will solve the problem, having Orlando promise to marry Rosalind, Phebe promise to marry Silvius if she cannot marry Ganymede. Orlando sees Oliver in the forest and rescues him from a lioness, causing Oliver to repent for mistreating Orlando. Oliver meets Aliena and falls in love with her, they agree to marry. Orlando and Rosalind and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, Touchstone and Audrey all are married in the final scene, after which they discover that Frederick has repented his faults, deciding to restore his legitimate brother to the dukedom and adopt a religious life. Jaques melancholic, declines their invitation to return to the court, preferring to stay in the forest and to adopt a religious life as well. Rosalind speaks an epilogue to the audience, commending the play to both men and women in the audience; the direct and immediate source of As You Like It is Thomas Lodge's Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legacie, written 1586-7 and first published in 1590. Lodge's story is based upon "The Tale of Gamelyn", wrongly attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer and sometimes printed among his Canterbury Tales.
Although it was first printed in 1721, "The Tale Gamelyn" must have existed in manuscript form in Shakespeare's time. It is doubtful that Shakespeare had read it, but Lodge must have built his pastoral romance on the foundation of "The Tale of Gamelyn", giving it a pastoral setting and the artificial sentimental vein, much in fashion at the time; the tale provided the intertwined plots, suggested all the characters except Touchstone and Jaques. Some have suggested two other minor debts; the first is Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion, a poetic description of England, but there is no evidence that the poem was written before As You Like It. The second suggested source is The Historie of Orlando Furioso by Robert Greene, acted about 1592, it is sugg
The Shakespearean fool is a recurring character type in the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespearean fools are clever peasants or commoners that use their wits to outdo people of higher social standing. In this sense, they are similar to the real fools, jesters of the time, but their characteristics are heightened for theatrical effect; the "groundlings" that frequented the Globe Theatre were more to be drawn to these Shakespearean fools. However they were favoured by the nobility. Most notably, Queen Elizabeth I was a great admirer of the popular actor who portrayed fools, Richard Tarlton. For Shakespeare himself, actor Robert Armin may have proved vital to the cultivation of the fool character in his many plays. Fools have entertained a varied public from Roman through Medieval times; the fool reached its pre-Shakespearean heights as the jester in aristocratic courts across Europe. The jester played a dynamic and changing role in entertaining aristocratic households in a wide variety of ways: songs, storytelling, medieval satire, physical comedy and, to a lesser extent and acrobatics.
Shakespeare not only borrowed from this multi-talented jester tradition, but contributed to its rethinking. Whereas the court jester regaled his audience with various skills aimed to amuse, Shakespeare's fool, consistent with Shakespeare's revolutionary ideas about theater, became a complex character who could highlight more important issues. Like Shakespeare's other characters, the fool began to speak outside of the narrow confines of exemplary morality. Shakespeare's fools address themes of love, psychic turmoil, personal identity, many other innumerable themes that arise in Shakespeare, in modern theater. Shakespeare's earlier fools seem to be written for the particular talents of famous Elizabethan actor, William Kempe. After Kempe left the troupe, Shakespeare's comic characters changed dramatically. Kempe was known for his improvising, Hamlet contains a famous complaint at improvisational clowning. Central to the Bard's redrawing of the fool was the actor Robert Armin:... Shakespeare created a whole series of domestic fools for.
Greatest roles, Touchstone in "As You Like It,", Feste in "Twelfth Night,", fool in "King Lear,". Armin became a counter-point to the themes of the play and the power relationships between the theater and the role of the fool--he manipulates the extra dimension between play and reality to interact with the audience all the while using the themes of the play as his source material. Shakespeare began to write well-developed sub-plots expressly for Armin's talents. A balance between the order of the play and the carnivalised inversion factor of festive energy was achieved. Ar-min was a major intellectual influence on Shakespeare's fools, he was attuned to the intellectual tradition of the Renaissance fool yet intellectual enough to understand the power of the medieval tradition. Armin's fool is a stage presence rather than a solo artist, his major skills were mimicry. His greatest asset was as a foil to the other stage actors. Armin offered the audience an idiosyncratic response to the idiosyncrasies of each spectator.'That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool – that he is no fool at all.'
Isaac Asimov, Guide to Shakespeare. Some have argued that the clowning in Shakespeare's plays may have been intended as "an emotional vacation from the more serious business of the main action", in other words, comic relief. Clowning scenes in Shakespeare's tragedies appear after a horrific scene: the Gravediggers in Hamlet after Ophelia's suicide, it is argued that Shakespeare's clowning goes beyond just comic relief, instead making the horrific or complex scenes more understandable and "true to the realities of living and now." Shifting the focus from the fictional world to the audience's reality helps convey "more the theme of the dramas". As Shakespeare's fools speak truth to the other characters, they speak truth to the audience. For example, Feste, in Twelfth Night, introduces a central theme when he tells Olivia that "the future is uncertain, laughter momentary, youth'a stuff will not endure'." Shakespeare closes the play with Feste alone on the stage, singing directly to the audience "of man's inexorable progress from childhood's holiday realm... into age, vice and death....
Pessimism is informed and sweetened, not only by the music to which it is set, but by the tolerance and acceptance of Feste himself." A Fool in Timon of Athens Autolycus in The Winter's Tale Citizen in Julius Caesar Cloten in Cymbeline Clown in Othello Clown in Titus Andronicus Costard in Love's Labours Lost – This clown is referred to as a "fool" in Act V, scene ii, but the word in this context refers to a silly man. He is not simple enough to be considered a natural fool, not witty enough to be considered an artificial one, he is rather just a man from the country. Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 Feste in Twelfth Night – One of Shakespeare's most multi-faceted clowns, Feste is employed by Olivia, but is at home i