The Clouds by Aristophanes Essay

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"The Clouds" by Aristophanes - Relevant in Today's World

"The Clouds" by Aristophanes, is a play centrally concerned
with education. Aristophanes employs satire to illustrate his
conservative beliefs. It is intended to show readers that in the
tendency to philosophical subtleties lies the neglection of the
real needs of the Athenians. According to Aristophanes,
philosophical speculation only acts to shake the established
foundations of accepted religion, gods, and ideals of morality.
Specifically, as it was even discused in "The Apology,"
Aristophanes believed that philosophical attitudes held by the
Sophists enabled those who held them to convince others of wrong
or weaker beliefs simply by sounding as if they knew what
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In doing some background
research into why this would be, I discovered that Aristophanes'
religious undertones could stem from the fact that Athenians
were trying to harmonize science and religion. When new
scientific theories were starting to surface and be questioned,
many people couldn't even consider them without sounding as if
they were committing treason against the state. Aristophanes
turns to religion in order to remind his audience that both
religion and science have to be equally open to questions,
critique, and even in Aristophanes' case, satire. This
suggestion, that certain things need to be equally suceptable to
to critique and questions can also be seen through the way that
Aristophanes suggests there is both a problem with the accepted
model of a "well-rounded" education, and the newer model brought
about by such philopophers as the Sophists. Aristophanes saw the
danger in not questioning an accepted theory or belief. Despite
the fact I agree with Johnson in that Aristophanes may be a
"staunch defender of old values," Aristophanes saw that if
something widely accepted was left unquestioned for too long, it
would become idle. Basically, an idea that I believe should be
applied more in the world we live in today -- a traditionally
accepted theory…