possesses a rural or "peasant" (I.ii.647) mentality that is partial to hard
work, farm life, and a practical, hands-on existence. Strepsiades only
wants to acquire knowledge if it can tangibly, physically, and practically
help him, whereas Socrates pursue
many respects, this story parallels those that he told to Athena and
Eumaeus in Books 13 and 14, respectively, though it is identical to neither.
He tells Penelope that, essentially, Odysseus had a long ordeal but is alive
and freely traveling the seas, a
When Odysseus responds with insults of his own, Eurymachus throws a
stool at him but misses, hitting a servant instead. Just as a riot is about to
break out, Telemachus steps in and diffuses the situation, to the
consternation of the suitors.
own land. But Amphinomus doesnt depart, despite being fraught with
grave forebodings, for Athena has bound him to death at the hands of
Athena now puts it into Penelopes head to make an appearance before
her suitors. The goddess gives
announces that he must return to his hut and hogs, leaving Odysseus
alone with Telemachus and the suitors.
Summary: Book 18
Another beggar, Arnaeus (nicknamed Irus), saunters into the palace. For a
beggar, he is rather brash: he insults Odysseus and chall
play, it is obvious that Aristophanes sympathizes with the traditional
system of education that Right here represents: the finale of the play only
proves the extensive damage (arson, abuse, etc.) that results from the
"new," sophistic education. However,
has a kind of irony that can best be described as "tragic-comic,"
containing elements of both tragic irony and comic irony.
While The Clouds is undoubtedly a comedyfull of sight-gags and broad
physical humormuch of its narrative arc is tragic: the play ch
This quotation is spoken by Right Argument near the end of Act One,
Scene Two as he debates with Wrong Argument over the proper model
of education for young boys in general, and Pheidippides in particular.
Right Argument, when asked to expound upon boys'
"rhythms" (I.ii.657) were more compelling and persuasive and would
enhance the underlying argument. Socrates's school teaches its pupils
rhetoric and a new kind of persuasion known as "Wrong [Argument]"
(I.i.93) whereby its practitioners can unravel any e
of adapting to the school's teachings whereas his son proves too good a
pupil. The dichotomy of "old" versus "new" is important to this play as it
provides for dramatic and comic tension. Aristophanes's sympathies are
certainly with the "old" or "traditio
This quotation is spoken by Strepsiades, the old farmer and father to the
spend-thrift Pheidippides at the opening of the Scene Two in Act One.
Strepsiades is desperately searching for a way out of paying the
exorbitant debts acquired through his son's ex
Banqueters that survive, another farmer-father sends his sons to study at
a special, city school. In The Banqueters, the father has two sons, one
"moral and [one] immoral" (I.ii.547) son. The "moral" son shuns the
dishonest, new-fangled, urban education a
While Strepsiades and his wife managed a happy compromise for their
son's name, Pheidippides's personal preferences were undiluted replicas
of his ritzy mother's preferences.
This quotation introduces the collision of city and country values that
herself and her son. Strepsiades calls his wife "a right Coesyra" (I.i.41), a
name he uses in The Clouds and his earlier play The Acharnians to
suggest a notoriously wealthy woman. "Megacles" (I.i.41) likewise
suggests wealth and prestige since a "Megacle
Important Quotations Explained
I was happy with my bees and my sheep and my olives. Then I married
this city girl, the niece of Megacles, no less, very classya right Coesyra!
Explanation for Quotation #1
This quotation is spoken by the anti-hero Strepsiad
of the satire and condemned Aristophanes for the dishonest and sinful
elements of the "new education" that he is satirizing. The scholar Cedric
Whitman wisely notes, "the poet seems to have recognized that he could
not moralize his play without ruining it
as mentioned earlier, was a typical formal division of Greek comedy.
While the violence in the final scene possesses a certain abandon akin to
revelry and while the scene progresses with spectacular choreography
and action, no one celebrates in any tradit
The thesis of the play is that violence must be met with violence. This is
the logic behind the Chorus's defense of its own actions, which
encouraged Strepsiades to behave badly. Strepsiades displays great
physical and psychological violence with his two
worthy of trivia not moral example. As scholar David McDowell admits,
they are "logical- sounding[but not] true conclusions," (Oxford
University Press, 1995).
Analysis: Act Two
The day of "Old and New" that provides much comic fodder throughout
the play r
he would avoid it at all costs. He would be innocent by reason of
foresight, and Aristophanes seeks to debunk this absurd system of logic.
The warning the Chorus gloats over apparently escapes Strepsiades as he
abandons his own path to sophistry and inste
at pains to invoke the gods: to reassert their existence and to call upon
their aid and guidance.
After the "parabasis," when Strepsiades's education continues,
Aristophanes delights in parodying more current rhetorical and
philosophical trends. The amusi
asserts that Aristophanes writes "modest" (I.ii.547) comedy that does not
stoop to employ low or grotesque jokes or costumes, and scholars have
suggested that these references are probably ironic and intended for a
few guffaws. How else would we explain t
of the play that we now have is the partially revised second draft of the
play, a draft that can be dated from the allusions in the speech to no
earlier than 420 BCE, according to the scholar Douglas M. McDowell in his
analysis of the play (Oxford Univers
song or "exodus" marking the end of the play. Other typical devices
include one neighbor knocking at another's door, beseeching help, and in
The Clouds Socrates is the neighbor to whom Strepsiades flees when his
debts overwhelm him.
The Clouds lacks an "e
pioneered the rhetorical training, based on legal speechifying, that
stressed presentation over content, superficial slickness over moral
rectitude. As noted, this rhetorical approach is the overall target of the
Therefore, Aristophanes's S
preferring to cast Socrates's interactions with the youth of Athens as
informal discussions, not lectures or lessons.
However, scholars, such as Sommerstein, now conjecture that it is
possible that Socrates's possessed more of an interest in natural scien
After the Chorus of Clouds sing Strepsiades a valediction upon his
matriculation, they turn aside to the audience and depart from the
narrative flow of the play to comment on the history of the play's
production. This interlude, known as a "parabasis," wa
rhetoric, and the new morality" (Penguin, 1973). Many of these trends
actually had their roots in other scientists and philosophers of that era,
such as Anaxagoras, Hippon, Diogenes, Protagoras, and Gorgias.
Anaxagoras redefined cosmology and astronomy by
traditional education, by contrast, relies upon more morally weighty
models of conduct and eloquence, usually drawn from the epic poetry of
Homer, who stressed martial valor and communal values.
In The Banqueters, the split between "old" and "new" educati
Strepsiades, therefore, represents more of an "anti-hero" than a
The "new education" that the sophists at the "Thinkery" pioneer
represents the first stirrings of scientific theories that were circulating in
Athens at the time of the p