Paul's while "holding vp his muckender
[handkerchief] for his booke"; tolling the Christ Church bell for the chicken his nurse killed for supper; selling a gentleman's boots for a groat, because it was the only amount of money he knew; and falling drunkenly asleep in a cellar for two days, while half the city searched for him.
2 (Summer 2008): 197-223; "Blackfaced Fools, Black-Headed Birds, Fool Synonyms, and Shakespearean Allusions to Renaissance Blackface Folly," Notes and Queries 55 (2008): 215-19; "The Folly of Racism: Enslaving Blackface and the 'Natural' Fool Tradition," Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 20 (2007): 46-84; and "Emblems of Folly in the First Othello: Renaissance Blackface, Moor's Coat, and 'Muckender
,'" Comparative Drama 35, no.
This essay is in part a follow-up to issues first raised in my article, "Emblems of Folly in the First Othello: Renaissance Blackface, Moor's Coat, and 'Muckender,'" Comparative Drama, special issue, "Reading Othello," 35.1 (Spring 2001): 69-100.
For criticism on natural fools, see Enid Welsford, The Fool: His Social and Literary History (London: Faber and Faber, 1935); Leslie Hotson, Shakespeare's Motley (New York: Oxford University Press, 1952); Walter Kaiser, Praisers of Folly: Erasmus, Rabelais, Shakespeare (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963); John Southworth, Fools and Jesters at the English Court (Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1998), 48-60; and my own articles, "Emblems of Folly in the First Othello: Renaissance Blackface, Moor's Coat, and 'Muckender'" and especially "The Fool in Quarto and Folio King Lear," English Literary Renaissance 34.3 (2004): 306-38.