Analysis Of The Clouds By Aristophanes

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When imagining the ancient city of Athens, intriguing philosophy, beautiful art, and advancement in mathematics and science may be brought to mind. However, one man, Aristophanes, seemed to be the complete opposite of the portrayed picture of the Athenian people. He was a comedian, and a very unrefined one. His vulgar, sexual, uncouth plays were extremely popular, viewed by citizens of all statuses. The Ancient Greeks, so well known for laying the intellectual foundation of the Western world, enjoyed Aristophanes inappropriate and crude humor so much because his comedy was an entertaining, relatable outlet for their frustrations at the time and provided satirical advice on current problems with society to all. A major component in the immense …show more content…
The comedy utilized the current political situation, and the viewers knowledge of important figures in educational advancement, mostly Socrates.
The goal of this play was to make people skeptical. Aristophanes used character’s arguments to demonstrate that wrong points could seem correct due to wording. He sent a warning with this play to this viewers to be careful what they believe regarding philosophy. Author MacDowell says Aristophanes did not ‘expect the audience to be convinced, but to laugh, and at the same time to realize’ and be wary of arguments based on sounding smart instead of actually communicating ideas.
Socrates is made the figurehead for most of the theories of others at the time - almost no philosophers or scientists are mentioned by name except for him. The picture of him is not entirely false, but is definitely inflated and distorted for the purpose of entertainment and is a bit unfair and flawed. The effect of the play was actually so strong in casting a negative light onto him that the real Socrates later said in his speech defending himself that ‘his reputation had been damaged by comic caricatures of himself as a crazy natural scientist.’ So many people went to Aristophanes plays to hear his underlying messages that it may have actually had a hand in the death of Socrates due to fear mongering about the new scientific method and

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