Court Jesters, including what they wore
LEVEL: Intermediate/ Secondary
Searching on Google, using the search terms jester or court jester will bring up a lot of information on this topic. The first site listed is Wikipedia.
HOT TIP: Wikipedia has great coverage of many topics, including this one. But you need to be aware that this information is contributed by lots of different people. If you are using this site, it always pays to check the information against that on other sites, or in books from the library.
We like to recommend the BBC information sites for their reliability, and their appropriateness for different age levels. This history site, aimed at primary/intermediate level, has details of the way in which court jesters fitted into the society of their times.
Court jesters and street entertainers, perhaps the forerunner of today's stand-up comedians, were a particular feature of medieval life in Britain and Europe. While jesters were usually employed by the king and worked in the royal court, there was plenty of entertainment available to ordinary people as well. A search using the terms "middle ages entertainment" will give you information about the many ways in which people made the most of their leisure time.
HOT TIP: When searching Google, if you put speech marks ” ” or ‘ ‘ around your search term, Google will search for it as a phrase. Very handy if you’re looking for something in particular and you know the words will be in that order.
A 1955 American movie musical, The Court Jester, starring popular entertainer Danny Kaye, gives a 20th century view. Clips from this movie are available on YouTube sites like this one: Court Jester scenes
Court jesters, sometimes known as Fools, wore a wide variety of costumes at different times. These generally featured very distinctive hats or caps, from which our term 'foolscap' (a paper size similar to A4) comes. A search on google images will bring up a comprehensive selection (see details below).
HOT TIP: You can use the Google Image feature to find a range of great photos and pictures! If you want pictures of court jesters : Go to Google. Click on the Images link above the search box (in top left corner). Type in court jester, then click on search images.
HOT TIP: You can usually see the full size image by double clicking on the thumbnail sized one.
HOT TIP: For more information on the Middle Ages or Medieval Life check out our other ManyAnswers entries.