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King Lear

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The Fool’s Recurring Metaphor: Act 3, Scene 6

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In Act 3, Scene 6, this exchange occurs between Lear and the Fool:

Fool
Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a yeoman?

KING LEAR
A king, a king!

Fool
No, he's a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son; for he's a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman before him.

The figure of the “madman” here has an echo of which of the Fool’s earlier comments?

A

“The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason” (Act 1, Scene 5).

B

“Horses are tied by the heads, dogs and bears by the neck, monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs” (Act 2, Scene 4).

C

“Fathers that wear rags / Do make their children blind” (Act 2, Scene 4).

D

“I have used [songs], nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mothers” (Act 1, Scene 4).

E

“All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men” (Act 2, Scene 4).