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The struggle between Carnival and Lent, with its symbols – the tavern and the church –, forms the substance of the humor in Shakespeare’s plays written before 1599. This humor is more than a simple comic tool, it is a vision of life, in which the carnivalesque with the vernacular language full of originality, with its laughter devoid of irony and annihilation of the human being, wipes away the veil of delusion and confronts the characters with their own flaws and illusions. In the position of commentator of the deviations of the main characters, we find the fool who mediates between the stage fiction and the audience’s reality, through his semi-detached position, like Sir John Falstaff in “Henry IV“.
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