The Clouds by Aristophanes

Topics: Aristophanes, Plato, The Clouds Pages: 5 (1492 words) Published: September 13, 2013
“Clouds in the sky look big and substantial, but in fact they are mere clumps of thin vapor—a fact that the new scientific advances were beginning to appreciate.” --

The Clouds
by Aristophanes

Aristophanes
* He was a comic playwright of the ancient Athens.
* Eleven of his 40 plays survived virtually complete.
* A realist and was against the sophist such as Socrates, Anaxagoras, Diogenes, Protagoras, Hippon, Korax, and Gorgias. * The Father of Comedy and The Prince of Ancient Comedy
The Clouds
* Comedy
* It was originally produced at the City Dionysia in 423 BC and it was not well received, coming last of the three plays competing at the festival that year. * It was revised between 420-417 BC and thereafter it was circulated in manuscript form.  * No copy of the original production survives, and scholarly analysis indicates that the revised version is an incomplete form of Old Comedy. * This incompleteness, however, is not obvious in translations and modern performances. * The Clouds can be considered not only the world's first extant 'comedy of ideas' but also a brilliant and successful example of that genre. Note: In the fifth century BCE, around the time when Aristophanes wrote The Clouds, the first stirrings of what today would be considered "scientific theory" were being felt.  Characters

STREPSIADES
* Strepsiades is the anti-hero of Aristophanes's play (The Clouds). He is an older Athenian citizen and a farmer. He married a well-to-do girl. * Strepsiades is a practical man: he has a problem—he is in debt—and he finds an existing solution for it in the theories and arguments taught at Socrates's school. In spite of the fact that he places his hopes on the slippery rhetoric and shady morals of the new sophistry and "new education," Strepsiades is a countryman and a traditionalist at heart. He wishes that his son Pheidippides were a farmer like him and his father before him.  *  fundamentally dishonest: the action of the play occurs, in fact, because Strepsiades does not wish to pay the money that he owes his creditors.  * Desperate.

PHEIDIPPIDES
* the Son of Strepsiades who has inherited the young woman's rarified tastes and has begun running Strepsiades into the ground with debts to finance his stables of expensive horses.  SERVANT OF STREPSIADES

DISCIPLES OF SOCRATES/SOCRATES
* stuck-up white-faced barefoot characters who are so removed from the real actions and transactions of everyday life and the world that they appear floating in a basket above it!  JUST DISCOURSE

* ‘Just’ or having justice in all due truthfulness and honesty. * Why Aristophanes (the scriptwriter) allowed the Just Argument stupid phrases? * Aristophanes, however, knows that the traditional model or the Just Discourse is having problems when it comes to modern ideas. This is why he paints Just Argument as a pedophile and why he allows Just Argument to utter such vacuous statements as "Be ashamed when you ought to be ashamed," (I.ii.1013). * Just Argument seems to offer an appealing curriculum—well-rounded and grounded in practical experience. However, lack of fresh insights have rendered Just Argument's traditions stale, vacuously circular, and out of touch with the current ideas. The alternative to Just Argument is Unjust Argument, and in particular Socrates's school for sophists and other slippery-thinkers.  UNJUST DISCOURSE

* Unjust Argument is full of pomp and intellect—an imposing figure until you realize that his debates are mere snatches of important-sounding trivia that have no real, honest use. PASIAS, a Money-lender

AMYNIAS, another Money-lender
CHORUS OF CLOUDS
* intriguing group.
* a group of young women decked out in gauzy cloud- suggesting garb, all of which must have been quite moving and effective when the group sang and danced. * they are the only ones who speak directly to the audience and who speak about the play and...
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