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food of fools

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Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
The character of the Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear uses hitherto unexamined gustatory imagery as a linguistic device to achieve the literary fool's function of imparting wisdom that masquerades as nonsense. While previous critics have analyzed the linguistic devices of puns, riddles, and rhymes used by medieval and Renaissance literary fools, this thesis argues not only that the Fool's gustatory imagery constitutes the dominant motif in the play, but also employs food theory to demonstrate how these image patterns provide political commentary on the dramatic action. The Fool's pattern of gustatory imagery is employed as well by characters who can be seen as variations on the wise fool. Through these characters, Shakespeare establishes a food chain motif that classifies some characters as all-consumptive, even cannibalistic, and others as their starving prey. The pattern of food imagery offers a range of perspectives, from highly critical to idealistic, on the play's meaning and political relationships.
Title: The food of fools: an analysis of the Fools' gustatory imagery in King Lear.
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Name(s): Sparer, Sara Rafferty.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: iv, 59 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The character of the Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear uses hitherto unexamined gustatory imagery as a linguistic device to achieve the literary fool's function of imparting wisdom that masquerades as nonsense. While previous critics have analyzed the linguistic devices of puns, riddles, and rhymes used by medieval and Renaissance literary fools, this thesis argues not only that the Fool's gustatory imagery constitutes the dominant motif in the play, but also employs food theory to demonstrate how these image patterns provide political commentary on the dramatic action. The Fool's pattern of gustatory imagery is employed as well by characters who can be seen as variations on the wise fool. Through these characters, Shakespeare establishes a food chain motif that classifies some characters as all-consumptive, even cannibalistic, and others as their starving prey. The pattern of food imagery offers a range of perspectives, from highly critical to idealistic, on the play's meaning and political relationships.
Identifier: 435767603 (oclc), 227981 (digitool), FADT227981 (IID), fau:3464 (fedora)
Note(s): by Sara Rafferty Sparer.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2009.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Symbolism in literature
Food -- Symbolic aspects
Food in literature
Literature and society -- England -- 16th century -- Criticism and interpretion
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/227981
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU