Aristophanes Clouds Essay

632 Words Dec 6th, 2012 3 Pages
Aristophanes’ Clouds presents its’ audience with more than just a brilliantly comedic performance, but a lesson about education as well. Although Socrates is one of the plays main characters, and one of the most prominent philosophers of all time, Aristophanes chooses to use the Chorus of Clouds as his primary tool in getting his messages about education across to the audience. The Clouds attempt to teach Strepsiades by pushing him to make mistakes that he will ultimately learn from. Strepsiades tells the Clouds that he wants to learn the inferior argument, to “twist justice around and escape the clutches of [his] creditors,” and although the Clouds know that this will bring unwanted consequences, nevertheless, they encourage …show more content…
They want to teach Strepsiades a lesson through their lies and manipulation, whereas the Inferior Argument simply wants to prove that he can deceive others with his masterful speech.
Although I see the great value in learning from our own mistakes, I do not entirely agree with the Clouds. Rather than simply letting Strepsiades make his decision on his own, they push him towards the wrong decision. They tell him that if he learns the Inferior Argument well enough, “for the rest of [his] days [he] will be the most blessed and envied of all men.” How could anybody, including Strepsiades, be expected to make the right choice and leave Socrates school with this kind of promise from the almighty Clouds? Had the Clouds never mislead him with false hopes in the first place, perhaps Strepsiades would have made the right decision on his own in the beginning.
After Strepsiades realizes that the Inferior Argument is a “damned” one, he instantaneously projects the blame onto the Clouds, “this is all your fault, you’re responsible” he yells, “you lured me into this!” But the Clouds tell Strepsiades that he brought this upon himself, and that this is not the first time they have deceived a mortal who did not respect the Gods. Strepsiades finally accepts part of the blame. He realizes that he should have never tried to get out of paying his debts in the first place, and for a brief moment it seems like the story might end on a high note.

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