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Arts & Culture

Jesters and Fools: A History of Wit and Whimsy

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Michael Kerswill
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Flickr

History and literature are filled with their antics. From the Renaissance's Triboulet to Shakespeare's Feste from "Twelfth Night," jesters and fools have delighted us for centuries with their subversive humor and quick wit. But while comedy was their brand, there existed hardships for these characters as well.

Often disabled and mistreated, these men and women relied on fortune and their ability to amuse to survive. And while some did quite well, others suffered fates from banishment to execution for failing to please their kings. This hour we look back on jesters and fools throughout history and ask who exactly were these entertainers of old.

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

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