Fools Are Everywhere: The Court Jester Around the World
University of Chicago Press, 2001 - 420 pages
In this lively work, Beatrice K. Otto takes us on a journey around the world in search of one of the most colorful characters in history—the court jester. Though not always clad in cap and bells, these witty, quirky characters crop up everywhere, from the courts of ancient China and the Mogul emperors of India to those of medieval Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. With a wealth of anecdotes, jokes, quotations, epigraphs, and illustrations (including flip art), Otto brings to light little-known jesters, highlighting their humanizing influence on people with power and position and placing otherwise remote historical figures in a more idiosyncratic, intimate light.
Most of the work on the court jester has concentrated on Europe; Otto draws on previously untranslated classical Chinese writings and other sources to correct this bias and also looks at jesters in literature, mythology, and drama. Written with wit and humor, Fools Are Everywhere is the most comprehensive look at these roguish characters who risked their necks not only to mock and entertain but also to fulfill a deep and widespread human and social need.
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Fools are everywhere: the court jester around the worldUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Mention a court jester, and one pictures a whimsical creature in a belled hat or, perhaps, the ill-fated character in King Lear. Otto's lively, well-researched text proves that there are centuries of ... Read full review
1 Facets of the Fool
2 The Scepter and the Bauble
3 In Risu Veritas or Many a True Word Spoken in Jest
The Limits of His License
5 Religion Erudition and Irreverence
6 All the Worlds a Stage
7 Stultorum Plena Sunt Omnia or Fools Are Everywhere
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