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Contrary to popular belief jesters weren't a European phenomenon, they flourished in many times and cultures.
People became jesters do to various reasons:
A Royal Servant wrote to King Henry VIII's Chief minister recommending a young boy to replace Sexton, the King's aging Jester with an assurance that he would be more pleasant than Sexton.
Roland ,The Farter was the jester of Henry II's 12 th century court.
Every Christmas, he performed a special routine , for which the finale was a simultaneous jump,whistle and fart.
If the clowns of Tübatulabal nation thought a Chief was leading poorly,they could influence the elders to elect a new one.
A local magistrate once requested the Chinese Emperor to stop trambling the farmlands when he went on a hunting spree.
Infuriated, the Emperor had the magistrate hauled before him.
Jing, the jester suggested that the magistrate be put immediately to death and let the peasants starve instead of harvesting and paying taxes , so the Emperor could gallop about freely.
Presumably, the Emperor realised his own absurdity and pardoned the magistrate.
In 1592, a French man was condemned to death.
But Mathurine , a female jester intervened in return for payment.
With her help ,the man's wife successfully pleaded with the King to save her husband's life.
Although Rare, jesters were sometimes fired or even killed for taking the Mockery too far.
When 19 th century Persian King Shah asked whether there was a food shortage , the jester Karim Shir'ei joked,
"Yes, I see Your Majesty eating only five times a day".
Even when rulers were considered divinely appointed, jesters were able to speak truth directly to power and reveal who the real fool was.
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