Feste appears in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or What You Will, which was written around 1600. In analyzing the character of Feste, it's important to note that Twelfth Night was written at the time that Robert Armin joined Shakespeare's acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, replacing Will Kempe as the actor who played fools and clowns.
Will Kempe was known for his physical comedy and low-brow humor and played rustic fools and clowns—called "natural fools," like Lance in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing.
When Armin joined the troupe, the fools in Shakespeare's plays were written as "wise fools," who were less clownish and more witty and worldly-wise, starting with Touchstone in As You Like It, then Feste in Twelfth Night, and then the Fool in King Lear.
Armin was a well-known actor before he joined Shakespeare's company. He had also written several books and plays and was a noted singer, something that Shakespeare...
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