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court jester,

a person who entertains with buffoonery and an often caustic wit. In all countries from ancient times and extending into the 18th cent., mental and physical deformity provided amusement. Attached to noble and royal courts were dwarfs, cripples, idiots, albinos, and freaks. The medieval court fool was seldom mentally deficient. For the freedom to indulge in satire, tricks, and repartee, many men of keen insight and caustic wit obtained powerful patronage by assuming the role of fool. This role was played in the courts of the East, in ancient Greece and Rome, and in the court of Montezuma. The clownclown,
a comic character usually distinguished by garish makeup and costume whose antics are both humorously clumsy and acrobatic. The clown employs a broad, physical style of humor that is wordless or not as self-consciously verbal as the traditional fool or jester.
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 or jester was common in Elizabethan drama (e.g., the Fool in King Lear), and by donning the fool's garb the actor gained the freedom of the fool. His costume, which was hung with bells, usually consisted of a varicolored coat, tight breeches with legs of different colors—occasionally a long petticoat was worn—and a bauble (mock scepter) and a cap which fitted close to the head or fell over the shoulders in the form of asses' ears. Till Eulenspiegel and Robin Goodfellow are mythical fools.


See B. Swain, Fools and Folly (1932); E. Welsford, The Fool (1936, repr. 1961); S. Billington, A Social History of the Fool (1984).


(formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household


Fool's Lisp. A small Scheme interpreter.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Jester has also taken credit for hacks against (http://www.
Jester Communications developed Bolster, a mobile tool, providing original equipment manufacturers with real-time digital sales support.
The first section begins with jester Balloute's grotesque description of human laughter, which he calls a "hurricane that fills veins, eyes, and mouths.
The jester was free to poke fun at the king and his decisions without being thrown in jail.
Erwyd Le Fol (pictured), better known as Russell Erwood to many, will go through his Adoubement - a traditional jesters naming ceremony - on August 2 in Conwy before making appearances at the town's civic events.
Playwright Dario Fo's comic and moving Francis the Holy Jester will be performed at the Capstone Theatre on Liverpool Hope's Everton campus on Tuesday.
BEND - Amanda Jester scored the game-winning goal in a penalty kick shootout, and Brittany Glassow stopped Bend's final penalty kick to help Willamette advance to the Class 5A girls soccer semifinals for the second straight year with a 4-3 victory over Bend on Saturday.
In the 1700s came the Harlequin, a type of clown quite different from the jester.
The Jester and the Sages: Mark Twain in Conversation with Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx" discusses a potential conversation between Mark Twain and these four men, who despite sharing a similar role throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, never truly met.
14) The comic action pertinent to my topic involving purgation begins when Caliban mistakes the jester Trinculo for one of Prospero's spirits about to play a cruel joke on him for bringing in his burden of wood too slowly.
The Jester King Craft Brewery, of Austin, TX, has filed suit against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).