In this chapter we look at examples of wit and foolishness in the three plays, and we begin by taking three extracts for detailed study. These focus on Parolles from All’s Well that Ends Well, Lucio from Measure for Measure and Thersites from Troilus and Cressida. These three characters are ‘witty’: they are Fools with a capital ‘F’, not stupid like Constable Elbow, or Ajax. In the second part of the chapter, we will develop this distinction further in a more general discussion of the role of wit and stupidity in each play.
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