What is the role of the fool in King Lear?

He is used to show lears true feelings and higlight lears foolishness

he is a significant character and is the only character in the play who can get away with talking to lear in the way in which he does.

The fool acts as a commentator on events and is one of the only characters who is fearless in speaking the truth. His 'mental eye' is the most acute in the beginning of the play. He sees Lear's daughters for what they are and has foresight to see what Lears decisions will prove disastrous.

Arguably, he could be seen as taking on the role of a wife for Lear; the absence of a mother from the main narrative, as well as the Fool's ability to be honest and accepted by the king suggests that he is taking on this role. This would then be a very interesting point on women.