Simpleton


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Simpleton

 

a theatrical type; the role of a person who is open-hearted and naïve or dull-witted or sometimes a person who only appears to be so. Early prototypes of the simpleton are the traditional character (the second zanni) in the Italian commedia dell’arte of the second half of the 16th century and the fools in old German, Russian, and other folk performances. Later this type became widespread in comedy (mainly vaudeville) and operetta. Examples of the simpleton are Sir Andrew

Aguecheek in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Mitrofanushka in Fonvizin’s The Minor, and Lariosik in Bulgakov’s The Days of theTurbins.

References in classic literature ?
And the ship rose and rose, and in another minute was flying through the air, when the Simpleton, who was on the look out, cast his eyes down to the earth and saw a man beneath him on the road, who was kneeling with his ear upon the damp ground.
So the man was only too glad, and got in beside him; and the ship flew, and flew, and flew through the air, till again from his outlook the Simpleton saw a man on the road below, who was hopping on one leg, while his other leg was tied up behind his ear.
Come with us on my ship,' he answered; and the man made no objections, but joined them; and the ship flew on, and on, and on, till suddenly the Simpleton, looking down on the road below, beheld a man aiming with a gun into the distance.
Come into the ship with us,' answered the Simpleton; and the man was only too glad to join them, and he got in; and the ship flew on, farther and farther, till again the Simpleton from his outlook saw a man on the road below, carrying on his back a basket full of bread.
And so the glutton joined the party, and the ship mounted again into the air, and flew up and onward, till the Simpleton from his outlook saw a man walking by the shore of a great lake, and evidently looking for something.
And so the mighty drinker was added to the company; and the ship flew farther, and even farther, till again the Simpleton looked out, and this time he saw a man dragging a bundle of wood, walking through the forest beneath them.
And so he too joined them; and away the ship flew on, and on, and on, and once more the Simpleton looked out, and this time he saw a man carrying straw upon his back.
And he there and then decided to despatch one of his courtiers to the Simpleton, with the command that he was to fetch the King the healing water from the world's end before he had finished his dinner.
But while the King was still instructing the courtier exactly what he was to say, the first man of the ship's company, the one with the miraculous power of hearing, had overheard the King's words, and hastily reported them to the poor Simpleton.
Tell his Majesty,' said the Simpleton, 'that his orders shall be obeyed; 'and forthwith the swift runner unbound the foot that was strung up behind his ear and started off, and in less than no time had reached the world's end and drawn the healing water from the well.
in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office.
I am laughing at those simpletons who believe everything they hear and who allow themselves to be caught so easily in the traps set for them.