The fool as prophet

A quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear, ‘Jesters do oft prove Prophets’, attributing powers of prophecy to fools, is echoed in a Jewish proverb:

A whole fool is half a prophet. 

It may just be that being liminal to the centre of power, they see things more clearly?

Source: William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Lear (1605), Kenneth Muir, ed., 9th rev. edn (London: Methuen, 1972), 5.3.71

Image credit: Seven busts of prophets (c. 1400), Pier Paolo dalle Masegne (1380-1420); Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien


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