Question & Answers of the lesson ” ‘In the Kingdom of Fools’. The lesson is published in CBSE Class 9 NCERT book ‘Moments’. Click here for more study materials.
Think about It
1. What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools?
Ans. The two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools are:
a) The kingdom’s decision to change night into day and day into night, ordering everyone to be awake at night and work during the day.
b) The peculiar pricing system where everything costs the same, a single duddu, regardless of the quantity or item purchased.
2. Why does the disciple decide to stay in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good idea?
Ans. The disciple decides to stay in the Kingdom of Fools because he is attracted by the cheap and abundant food available there. He sees an opportunity to enjoy good, cheap food, and that tempts him to remain in the kingdom. However, it is not a good idea as the kingdom’s actions are foolish and unsustainable, and he eventually finds himself in a dangerous situation.
3. Name all the people who are tried in the king’s court, and give the reasons for their trial.
Ans. The people tried in the king’s court are:
a) The rich merchant: He is blamed for not building a strong wall, which resulted in the death of the thief who broke into his house.
b) The bricklayer: He is accused of building a faulty wall that fell on the thief and killed him.
c) The dancing girl (now an old woman): She is accused of distracting the bricklayer with her constant presence, which led to the poorly constructed wall.
d) The goldsmith: He is blamed for keeping the dancing girl at his doorstep multiple times, causing her to walk up and down the street and distracting the bricklayer.
4. Who is the real culprit according to the king? Why does he escape punishment?
Ans. According to the king, the real culprit is the rich merchant’s father, who ordered the jewellery from the goldsmith and put pressure on him, leading to the dancing girl’s repeated visits. However, the real culprit escapes punishment as he is already dead.
5. What are the Guru’s words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember them?
Ans. The Guru’s words of wisdom are, “This is a city of fools. You don’t know what they will do next.” The disciple remembers these words when he finds himself in a precarious situation, realizing that the kingdom’s actions are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
6. How does the guru manage to save his disciple’s life?
Ans. The guru manages to save his disciple’s life by arriving in the city just in time to see the disciple facing execution. He scolds the disciple and tells him something in a whisper. The guru then goes to the king and requests to be executed first. This act confuses the king, but the guru insists, and finally, both the guru and the disciple are sentenced to death by execution. However, the execution is postponed to the next day, giving the guru and the disciple time to escape. The guru and the disciple take advantage of the opportunity and flee the city, avoiding their imminent death.
Talk About It
Q. In Shakespeare’s plays the fool is not really foolish. If you have read or seen Shakespeare’s plays such as King Lear, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, you may talk about the role of the fool.
Do you know any stories in your language about wise fools, such as Tenali Rama or Gopal Bhar? You can also read about them in Ramanujan’s collection of folk tales.
In Shakespearean plays, the character of the fool is not portrayed as being foolish in the modern sense of the word. Instead, the fool is often a wise and witty character who uses humour, wordplay, and satire to offer insights and commentary on the events and characters in the play. The fool is usually a jester or a clown, and their role goes beyond mere entertainment. They serve as a truth-teller, often challenging the powerful and providing a different perspective on the unfolding events.
In “King Lear,” for instance, the fool is the king’s loyal companion and serves as his conscience. Despite his comedic demeanour, the fool delivers profound and poignant truths to Lear, warning him of his mistakes and the consequences of his actions.
Similarly, in “As You Like It,” the character of Touchstone is the court jester who provides a contrast to the romantic and pastoral elements of the play. His witty remarks and clever observations offer insights into human behaviour and society.
In “Twelfth Night,” the character of Feste, the fool, not only entertains but also offers valuable advice to other characters. His wit and wordplay make him a shrewd commentator on the events unfolding in the play.
In Indian folklore, there are several examples of wise fools, with Tenali Rama and Gopal Bhar being two well-known characters. Tenali Rama was a witty and clever poet at the court of the Vijayanagara emperor, Krishna Deva Raya. He was known for his intelligence and humour and often used his wit to outsmart others, including the king.
Gopal Bhar, on the other hand, was a legendary court jester in the court of Raja Krishnachandra of Bengal. He was famous for his humorous anecdotes and witty stories, often using humour to point out the follies and shortcomings of people around him.
These wise fool characters in folklore, like Shakespeare’s fools, play a significant role beyond mere entertainment. They use their cleverness to offer insights into human nature, challenge societal norms, and provide social commentary.
A. K. Ramanujan’s collection of folk tales includes stories featuring such wise fools, providing a glimpse into the rich tradition of storytelling and wisdom present in Indian folklore. These tales often carry moral lessons, humour, and a deeper understanding of the human condition.