Analysis Of Socrates ' The Clouds ' Essay

730 Words Sep 28th, 2014 3 Pages
Of the many writings that once existed on Socrates, only a few have actually survived entirely. One of them is a play written by Socrates’ contemporary Aristophanes on 423 BCE. In his comedy “The Clouds”, Aristophanes ridicules the character of Socrates on stage for all of Athens to see and enjoy. Despite the fact that “The Clouds” survived entirely, its reliability becomes complex and questionable due to the inconsistency with the writings of Socrates’ other contemporaries, as well as with the Athenian definition of what exactly a comedy comprises of, and yet it’s possible that in addition to entertainment, the exaggerated and vulgar play may of also played an important role in bringing forth the accusations that led to his death. Even though the origins of comedy are not well known, ever since the first comic competition in 487 BCE, the performances have been an important part of Athenian culture (NAVIA 34). Unlike tragedies, which honor a certain well-known character and celebrate their achievements, according to Aristotle, comedies are meant to imitate the bad and vicious characters in order to make them seem ridiculous (Poetics 1449a). In addition, Navia also states that Aristophanes’ choice of characters is motivated by their political position or popularity, in other words, the more known the subject is the more successful the comedy will be. This suggests that regardless of how his actions were interpreted, Socrates was very well known in Athens. However…

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