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Related to play the fool: play tricks, bring into play



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).

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(formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Fool's Lisp. A small Scheme interpreter.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The tracks are "It Hurt Her To Hurt Me", "Baby You Win", "Till the Right One Comes Along", "More and More", "Off the Wagon", "Hanging On", "I'll Play the Fool", "The Man I Used to Be", "A Lie If You Must", "The End of the Line", "Sweet Tooth", and "The Odds Were Good".
Vanian, dressed in black and still looking remarkably good for a 61-year-old, prowled the stage and worked the crowd throughout but the star of the show was Sensible, who may like to play the fool but actually plays magnificent Gibson guitar.
He'd been due to play the Fool to fellow Yorkshireman Brian Glover's monarch, but when Glover passed away, the Fool became the King.
THE Inbetweeners 2 star JAMES BUCKLEY reckons it takes hard work to play the fool. Especially when it comes to blowing off.
By PAUL KEANE EAMONN FITZMAURICE is happy to play the fool - confident that his Kerry team will play it cool.
As fans of TTN will testify, Barrowman is not afraid to play the fool, whether it's sending up Tom Cruise in Top Gun or donning make up to play a hapless air steward, and hopeless fast food worker.
Your tickling of feet as windows are cleaned, as you happily play the fool. Football strips washed, oranges sliced and all with love and care.
My dream acting role would be to play the Fool in King Lear, my favourite play.
It includes footage of a bear circus in the former Soviet Union, where animals are forced to 'play the fool' as a form of entertainment.