Celebrate April Fools Day with literature

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

This post contains spoilers about various literary works.

While snow continues to fall on the east coast, spring has arrived in Arizona. Flowers are blooming, the sun shines beautifully. March and April are notorious for stunning weather. April also houses one of the silliest, most mysterious days of the year – April Fools Day!

April Fools falls right after my birthday, and I usually forget the holiday exists because of all of the birthday excitement. This year is different. I was fooled pretty badly last year, and this year is my chance to fool in return.

 

 

I am not the sneakiest of people. I can walk into a room and go unnoticed because of light footsteps, but I can be clumsy and klutzy when it comes to fooling others. Whenever I need inspiration I first look to literature, to see what fictional characters have done to fool their friends and family.

The trickster is a common archetype in literature, and usually adds humor and comedic relief to most works. Below, in honor of April Fools Day, I have some of my favorite literary tricksters.

Puck

Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, is the mischievous elf from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In most literature, I’ve found that trickster characters in mystical settings are elf-like. What is Puck’s biggest trick? The elf mixed up who loved who in the Shakesperean play, and caused trouble with all of the couples in his world.

Iago

Iago straddled the role of villain and trickster in Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Iago is as illusive as he is tricky, and causes trouble by tricking Othello into believing that his wife is in love with his lieutenant and good friend. Othello ends up committing suicide. An ideal outcome of Iago, who craved the power Othello possessed. Iago goes on to kill off characters who find out about his jest, and is later tortured and imprisoned.

The Weasley twins

Fred and George Weasley were notorious for their antics at Hogwarts and throughout the Magical World in the Harry Potter series. The two opened a joke shop called “Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes,” where they sold magical items for the tricksters and those young at heart. Sadly, Fred passed away in the Battle of Hogwarts at the end of the series.

Loki

In many ways, you can sympathize with Loki because his father, Odin, favored his younger brother Thor in the Marvel Comic series “Thor.” But Loki made a lot of terrible decisions and played many tricks to get back at his brother throughout the series. An example of this is when Odin created Thor’s enchanted hammer – Loki manipulated its creation to make the handle too short out of jealousy. After various other antics, such as messing with the woman Thor loves, Loki was punished.

As you can tell, the antics of these literary figures have not necessarily resulted in the best outcomes. After further research about these tricksters, I’ve decided to use them as examples of what not to do this year.

Have lots of fun this April Fools, and don’t get into too much trouble!

You can reach the writer at arabusa@asu.edu or on Twitter @marie_eo.