“I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer.” (All’s Well that Ends Well act 2, sc. 2)
Tips for Use. In the art of communications it is generally assumed that answers are more important than questions. Therefore it is underestimated that the nature and quality of an answer depends also on how the question is asked. In a neutral setting – that is when the questioner and answerer are on equal grounds – the quoted line may help remove a possible degree of unease in both parties. That is, the quote adds a mild ironic or humorous tone to the question, helping to place the other party at ease (when answering). The humor…, of course comes from the inherent contrast (fool-wiser), the rhyme (wiser-answer), the antique sentence structure and, of course, the Shakespearean ring. It is an elegant alternative to the opener, ‘Maybe this is a stupid question…’
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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.
In the play. In the Castle od Rousillon (France), the clown and the Countess exchange some banter. The Countess apologizes to the clown before asking him an apparently irrelevant question.
original image, http://mrmillersblog.com/files/2010/02/clown1.jpg