Aristophanes’s The Clouds

Classical Athenian comedy addressed the contemporary social and political landscape–albeit in a completely outlandish way, through mocking public figures, much like our Late Night TV shows do. In the Clouds, Aristophanes makes fun of Socrates (whose ultimate fate, spurred on perhaps partially by Aristophanes’s play, was no laughing matter; see A Brief History of Ancient Greece, pages 249-253, on the trial and death of Socrates, as well as the reasons he was considered a “sophist”).

1) First, look at some background on the play  DO NOT USE WORDS OR IDEAS FROM THIS DOCUMENT WITHOUT PROPERLY CITING IT. YOU CAN SIMPLY WRITE “(ON SATIRE)” WHEREVER YOU’VE USED IT. 

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DO NOT USE ADDITIONAL SOURCES FOR THIS OR ANY OTHER DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT.

2) Then read the play (Links to an external site.) and answer the following question in 300-600 words USING SPECIFIC PASSAGES/LANGUAGE FROM THE TRANSLATION. After each reference, please put in parentheses the nearest line numbers that appear in the translation. The references should come from the ENTIRE play from beginning to end:

Socrates was put on trial on three charges: 1) corrupting the youth through miseducation; 2) not believing in the gods of the city and 3) introducing new gods.

How does Aristophanes comically “prosecute” Socrates on those charges in his portrayal of the philosopher’s educational methods*and attitude towards religion? (Think in particular of our discussions concerning “sophism”, as well as Plato’s references in the Apology of Socrates to scientific inquiry.) Which of the three charges does he seem to emphasize the most (or does he seem to emphasize them equally)

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