Sunday, January 17, 2010


Sir Dagonet was King Arthur's well-beloved jester. He saw himself as a courageous warrior and would present himself as such. Yet, in reality, he would flee at the slightest provocation. He often battered his own shield so that it appeared that he had been in a fight - telling all that he emerged victorious of course.

Touchstone in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” performed the classic jester role. A touchstone was a stone used to test the purity of gold and silver. In the same way, Touchstone the jester tested the wits of his aristocratic masters.“The fool doth think himself wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

Hop Frog
Hop Frog, a dwarf, was the unofficial advisor to the King. Due to his deformed legs he relied largely on his prodigious arm strength for locomotion. His movement was achieved by sequential hops, hence his name. It is not known from what country Hop-Frog originally came but it was from some barbarous region, that no person ever heard of--a vast distance from the court of the king. Hop-Frog was so inventive in the way of getting up pageants, suggesting novel characters, and arranging costumes, for masked balls, that nothing could be done, it seems, without his assistance.

Taillefer was William the Conqueror's jester, and the first man to be killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when the Normans conquered England. A jongleur, he rode out in front of the line, tossing his sword in the air and juggling it until an Englishman was provoked and killed him. When William the Conqueror learned of the death of Taillefer he cried: "Drink to Taillefer all; his heirs shall have a whole country fee, simple deeded and a motto: “Consequitur Quodcumque Petit.” (He accomplishes what he undertakes)

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