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Lecture

Aristophanes' Clouds

3 Pages
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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA232H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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04.06.11
AristophanesClouds
-Extreme form of alterity (scapegoat)
oOne individual forced to embody all differences and by his banishment, homogeneity
restored to society
-Fantasy of sameness – blood brotherhood, womenless world, panhellenism
-Impossible to get rid of / live without differences
-Differences of opinions despite equality in rights
-Dream of homogeneity existed with tolerance for the other (Athens)
-Athenian autochthony ~ Metics, new men; exist with them
-Democracy stable for so long but end of 5th c., oligarchic coups broke out
-Through literature, their drama, Athenians able to deal with their differences
-Villainized the Other to define / set up self (negative lessons)
-Positive lessons = how to be a good man
-Others = ‘gadflies to their ‘horses’ (= Athenian culture)
oTo make them more alert, awake
-Sophrosune, sanity (Bacchus >> Pentheus)
-423 BCE, Clouds by Aristophanes
-Sophist’s rise in Athens start in this period (5th c.)
-Traditional vs. Sophistic education
oSophist’s moral relativism and emphasis on rhetoric
-Clouds became evidence for Socrates’ trial
-Comedy – pointing out people who are different, laughing at them and disempowering them
-Socrates challenges the norms = different
-Socrates and Aristophanes
oClaim to improve demos, give them an education
oMove in similar circles
-Clouds
oConflict between father and son, old vs. young
oRepresents different factions, ideas, etc.
Son = social climber, pursuit of pleasure, sophistic education, rhetoric
Father = old values, responsibility, traditional education, law
oFather an average guy >> country bumpkin (unlike other writers who portray the average
guy as a nobleman)
oStrepsiades = ‘the twister’ ~ twists the truth, son’s arm, the bedsheets (father)
oPhidippides =stingy horse’~ social amalgam of family’s station; constrained by father’s
income, inherited mother’s taste for finer goods)
oPhrontisterion ~ the Thinkery, Think Station
Reflects the ambivalence of people who work there
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Description
04.06.11 Aristophanes Clouds - Extreme form of alterity (scapegoat) o One individual forced to embody all differences and by his banishment, homogeneity restored to society - Fantasy of sameness blood brotherhood, womenless world, panhellenism - Impossible to get rid of live without differences - Differences of opinions despite equality in rights - Dream of homogeneity existed with tolerance for the other (Athens) - Athenian autochthony ~ Metics, new men; exist with them - Democracy stable for so long but end of 5 c., oligarchic coups broke out - Through literature, their drama, Athenians able to deal with their differences - Villainized the Other to define set up self (negative lessons) - Positive lessons = how to be a good man - Others = gadflies to their horses (= Athenian culture) o To make them more alert, awake - Sophrosune, sanity (Bacchus >> Pentheus) - 423 BCE, Clouds by Aristophanes - Sophists rise in Athens start in this period (5 c.) - Traditional vs. Sophistic education o Sophists moral relativism and emphasis on rhetoric - Clouds became
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