Carnival Fool and his Institutionalisation in the Medieval European Society: A Critical Perspective

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Fayaz Sultan et al.


The main purpose of this paper is to analyse the historicity of fool as part of a cultural tradition which has evolved through many centuries in the European context. The paper will try to fix the historicity of fool in European agrarian base through its association with its ideological state apparatus. After analysing the historicity of fool and its subsequent evolution in the European tradition, an effort will be made to understand the greater appeal of fool in the Bakhtinian tradition of carnival spirit. The main agenda shall be around the queer nature of fool through his social, political, economic, ethical, religious, physical and psychological roots inspired from a sense of grotesque—from the festival of fools in the European tradition. The eccentricity which the fool offers has a greater influence of a tradition analysed by Bakhtin while bringing to light the carnival spirit in Rabelais the famous French writer of sixteenth century. This paper will try to delve deep into the aspect of institutionalisation of carnival space in the European tradition and its subsequent evolution into folly.

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