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Fool & Foolish: see Idiot & Stupidity & Ignorance & Joke & Knowledge & Wisdom & Comedy & Humour & Satire

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Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: its good to be silly at the right moment.  Horace, Odes

 

 

All religion is a foolish answer to a foolish question.  Peaky Blinders s3e3, BBC 2016  

 

 

Nor had I understood till then how the shameless vanity of utter fools can so strongly determine the fate of others.  Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

 

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.  Thomas Henry Huxley, Science and Culture and Other Essays, 1881

 

 

Do you think that the things people make fools of themselves about are any less real and true than the things they behave sensibly about?  They are more true: they are the only things that are true.  George Bernard Shaw, Candida, 1898

 

 

There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.  Soren Kierkegaard 

 

 

A fool and his money are soon parted.  Late 16th century proverb

 

 

There’s no fool like an old fool.  Mid-16th century proverb

 

 

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  Chinese proverb

 

cf.

 

There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you.  Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.  George W Bush, 17th September 2002

 

 

You can fool some of the people all of the time ... And those are the ones you concentrate on.  George W Bush, March 2001

 

 

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.  Richard P Feynman 

 

 

It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.  Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton.  Dean Koontz, Brother Odd

 

 

Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it takes a very clever woman to manage a fool.  Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills, 1888

 

 

I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.  F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

 

 

Lear: He is on the torturing road to understanding.  But the man who must help him on his journey is his fool.  Once again Shakespeare dares to make comparisons.  Simon Schama’s Shakespeare II: Hollow Crowns, BBC 2012

 

The fool is merciless.  ibid.

 

 

Thou art a great fool.  The Hollow Crown: Henry IV part II ***** starring Jeremy Irons & Simon Russell Beale & Tom Hiddleston & Alun Armstrong & David Bamber & Julie Walters & Niamh Cusack & David Dawson & Michaelle Dockery et al, director Richard Eyre, Lord Chief Justice to Falstaff, BBC 2012

 

I know thee not, old man.  Fall to thy prayers.  How ill white hairs become a fool and jester.  ibid.  King Hal to Falstaff

 

 

Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.  William Shakespeare, II Henry IV II ii 133-135, Prince Harry to Poins and Bardolf

 

 

If ye should lead her in a fools paradise.  William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet II iii 28, Nurse to Romeo

 

O, I am fortunes fool!  ibid.  III i 136, Romeo to Benvolio

 

 

Lord, what fools these mortals be!  William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream III ii 115

 

 

The fool hath planted in his memory

An army of good words.  William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice III v 61-62, Lorenzo to Jessica and Lancelot

 

 

Call me a fool.  William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing IV i 166, Friar

 

 

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.  As You Like It, Globe Theatre, Touchstone, Sky Arts 2012

 

 

’Tis fools such as you                                                                                  

That makes the world full of ill-favoured children.  William Shakespeare, As You Like It III v 54-55, Rosalind

 

 

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.  William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night I v 13-14, Feste

 

Those wits that think they have thee do very oft prove fools.  ibid.  I v 30-31

 

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,

And to do that well craves a kind of wit.  ibid. III I 59-60, Viola

 

 

Good faith, how foolish are our minds!  William Shakespeare, Othello IV iii 22, Desdemona

 

 

Old fools are babes again, and must be used

With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abused.  William Shakespeare, The History of King Lear I ii 19-20, Gonoril

 

Fools had ne’er less wit in a year,

For wise men are grown foppish.

They know not how their wits do wear,

Their manners are so apish.  I iv @160, Fool

 

Lear: Dost thou call me fool, boy?

 

Fool: All my other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.  ibid.  I iv 163

 

Then they for sudden joy did weep,

And I for sorrow sung,

That such a king should play bo-peep

And go the fools among.  ibid.  I iv @168, Fool

 

I had rather be any kind of thing than a fool.  ibid.  I iv 178, Fool

 

I am a fool; thou art nothing.  ibid.  I iv @187, Fool

 

I am a very foolish, fond old man,

Fourscore and upward, not an hour more or less;

And, to deal plainly,

I fear I am not in my perfect mind.  ibid.  IV vii 60

 

 

The loyalty well held to fools does make

Our faith mere folly.  William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra III xiii 41-42, Enobarbus

 

 

Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable.  For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.  Voltaire, Candide

 

 

A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry.  Hence University education.  George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Failure is unimportant.  It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.  Charlie Chaplin

 

 

Nine-tenths of the nation, ninety per cent of the people, ninety-five per cent of the people, are absolute fools.  And they’re bigger fools about painting than about anything else.  Francis Bacon, cited The Art of Francis Bacon    

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