In what sense are the Fool's assertions true or false in Act III scene 2 of King Lear?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This scene is of course famous for the way that the enraged Lear wanders around the heath during the tempestuous storm. We already begin to see signs of Lear's madness as he addresses the storm itself, finding a fitting parallel in its fury with his own emotions. However, it is the Fool that oddly tries to make his master see reason, and shows himself to be immensely wise in his suggestion. Note what he says to Lear:

O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is better than this rainwater out o'door. Good nuncle, in, ask thy daughters blessing. Here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.

The Fool thus is oddly shown to be the wiser of the two characters. He recognises that the storm makes it dangerous for them to be outside, and so he urges Lear to seek the blessing and forgiveness of his daughters, humbling himself before them, so at least they can enjoy the benefits of a "dry house." However, it is King Lear who rejects his fool's wise advice and clings on to his anger and rage. Thus, there is great truth in what the Fool says in this scene.

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