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Fools

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Ian Dunn
181898.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:05 am Reply with quote

Perhaps the most useful guide to court jesters/fools is The History of Court Fools by Dr. Doran in 1850. The books gives lists of licensed and unlicensed court fools, jesters and mirthmen throughout the ages.

Amongst the list of fools, they include:


  • "Cardinal" Soglia - Jester to Pope Gregory XVI.
  • Abgely - Fool to Louis XIV and the last licensed fool in France.
  • Berdic - Jocuacator to William the Conqueror.
  • Patche - Jester to Cardinal Wolsey, presented to him by Henry VIII.
  • Da'Gonet - Jester to King Arthur, who later knighted him.


Source: Schott's Original Miscellany

 
mckeonj
181906.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:29 am Reply with quote

One could also produce a list of Fictional Fools & Jesters: e.g.

Yorick of Hamlet
Feste of Twelfth Night
Fool of King Lear
'fortune's fool' Romeo

The Fool on the Hill

 
markvent
181928.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:39 am Reply with quote

our homeboy Pliny the Elder mentions a fool or jester (planus regius) when he writes of Apelles' of Kos visit to the palace of King Ptolemy I in his Naturalis Historia (Natural History) ..

Quote:
"Apelles had been on bad terms with PtolemŠus in former times, when they formed part of the suite of Alexander. After PtolemŠus had become king of Egypt, it so happened that Apelles was driven by the violence of a tempest to Alexandria. Upon this, some of his rivals fraudulently suborned a jester, who was attached to the court, to carry him an invitation to dine with the king. Accordingly, Apelles attended; upon which PtolemŠus was highly indignant, and, summoning before him his stewards of the household, requested that the artist would point out the one that had given him the invitation. Thus challenged, Apelles seized a piece of quenched charcoal that lay in the fire-place, and traced a likeness upon the wall, with such exactness, that the king, the moment he began it, recognized the features as those of the jester."


(taken from Second English translation by John Bostock and H. T. Riley, 1855)

Mark.

 
Mr Grue
182167.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:19 pm Reply with quote

British Airways employed a corporate jester for a period of 18 months in an attempt to tackle the very rigid hierarchy that existed at the firm. Details here:

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/19/nofool.html

 
djgordy
182170.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:23 pm Reply with quote

I believe that our beloved Prime Minister employed a fool for a number of years. He went by the name of Prescott.

 
Maud
182219.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:45 pm Reply with quote

Surely the fool of politics is .


I find fools very interesting, and the hugely important role they play. What with the speaking-the-truth-no-one-else-will-say thing. Classic.

<edited by Jenny with a smaller picture - also one that looks a little sillier!>

 
markvent
182445.  Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:28 am Reply with quote

It appears that the two terms are not interchangeable .. a fool is not necessarily a jester and vice versa ..

Quote:
One was an imperfect-witted man, or fool, whose follies were deemed to be amusing; he wore a parti-coloured dress, including a cowl, which ended in a cock's head, and was winged with a couple of long ears; he, moreover, carried in his hand a stick called his bauble, terminating either in an inflated bladder, or some other ludicrous object, to be employed in slapping inadvertent neighbours.

The other, called a jester, was a ready-witted, able, and perhaps well-educated man, possessed of those gifts of representing character, telling droll stories, and making pointed remarks.

The fool was a very humble person, haunting kitchen and scullery, messing almost with the dogs, and liable, when malapert, to a whipping. The jester was comparatively a companion to the sovereign or noble who engaged his services.


Mark.

 
gerontius grumpus
183230.  Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:09 am Reply with quote

In the bad old days of the Thatcher government, they had Edwina Curry to make ridiculous statements to divert attention away from the worst excesses of the government.
The tories seem to be keeping Boris in reserve for the same job, just in case they get back in.

 
Libris
183251.  Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:12 am Reply with quote

In a Tarot Deck the first card of the Major Arcana is 0 or un-numbered and known as the Fool.
As with all cards it has two faces, the begnin playful trickster who brings mirth and joy. Reversed a cruel prankster who's childish innocence is replaced by dark motivations ...

 
Celebaelin
183261.  Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:37 am Reply with quote

The Fool is a lot more complicated than that.

Quote:
The Fool is frequently interpreted to represent one or more of the following concepts:

Beginning - Inconsequence - Innocence - Freedom
Spontaneity - Originality - Happiness - Non-criticism
No attachment - Initiative - Adventure - Irresponsibility
Inexperience - Immaturity - Optimism - Boldness
Carpe Diem - Creative Chaos - New Beginnings - Foolhardiness


Quote:
In the game of tarot, the Fool has a unique role. Playing the Fool momentarily exempts the player from the rules of the game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fool_(Tarot_card)

There are (of course) other interpretations because the fool card might apply to the person whose Tarot is being read or to someone who is affecting them or to an event.

The sybolism is found in the sun, the cliff edge, the pack for the journey, the white flower and the barking dog.

 
Zaphod Beeblebrox
183262.  Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:43 am Reply with quote

Not forgetting, of course, The Perfect Fool (music by Gustav Holst).

 
djgordy
183269.  Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:30 am Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:
In the bad old days of the Thatcher government, they had Edwina Curry to make ridiculous statements to divert attention away from the worst excesses of the government.


Of course, in the Major government, Mrs Curry served a completely different purpose.

 
jblackley
183632.  Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:21 pm Reply with quote

markvent wrote:
It appears that the two terms are not interchangeable .. a fool is not necessarily a jester and vice versa ..


I certainly hope they're not interchangeable. I've eaten many a fool but never a jester.

 
dr.bob
184187.  Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:14 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The Fool is frequently interpreted to represent one or more of the following concepts:

Beginning - Inconsequence - Innocence - Freedom
Spontaneity - Originality - Happiness - Non-criticism
No attachment - Initiative - Adventure - Irresponsibility
Inexperience - Immaturity - Optimism - Boldness
Carpe Diem - Creative Chaos - New Beginnings - Foolhardiness


Or, in other words, anything the Tarot reader can crowbar into their reading to convince the punter to pay good money for what is, essentially, a load of nonsense.

 
Celebaelin
184219.  Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:25 am Reply with quote

There is a common theme but yes, that's sufficiently wide that it should cover most eventualities. There's a site which I can't find just now that splits the Fool's meaning into about ten distinct but related meanings and suggests/demands that anyone attempting readings choose five of them to fall within their interpretations of the fool. This implies that there is an element of the subjective even if you do lend it any credence.

 

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