Aristophanes The Clouds Analysis
Essentially everything that the public saw as dangerous and ridiculous (Johansen 127).Clearly, Aristophanes’ revision was most successful as the public accepted it as their only opinion of who Socrates was. However, time seemed to play an important role in Socrates’ trials as the play was ultimately used as a reason to blame him for all of the wickedness after the war (Johansen 127). On the other hand this is not what his other contemporaries say about him, in fact there are other writings that seem to contradict The Clouds. For example, Plato characterizes Socrates as a virtuous and saintly man, even Xenophon speaks highly of him by referring to him as a model of rectitude (Navia 32). In addition, within Plato’s Apology, Socrates even mentions a “writer of comedies” responsible for the accusations that led to the charges against him (Apology 18d). Moreover, there is further evidence that suggests Socrates had an antagonistic relationship with many playwrights including Aristophanes. Where Socrates questions Aristophanes and states that “what they composed they composed not by wisdom” (Apology 22b).
The Clouds, the revision by Aristophanes is clearly not a reliable source of information in determining the true identify of Socrates. It is a comedy, which as the name states is simply an imitation of characters combined with exaggerated and vulgar humor in order to make them seem ridiculous. Even the fact that the original was basically a failure supports the conclusion that the revision of the clouds is simply an over exaggeration or maybe even Aristophanes own way of opposing Socrates and the rest of the