Aristophanes Clouds

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According to Aristotle, comedy represented ‘the action of men worse than ourselves’ while tragedy portrayed them better then they actually were in real life; tragedy utilized real people whereas comedy used stereotypes. (gpw) One of the great Greek comedy playwrights was Aristophanes, who portrayed Socrates in his Clouds as a kind of haphazard epitome of the new ideas and the popular trends threatening Athenian social stability at the time. Is it possible to derive a reliable portrayal of Socrates from such a portrayal? In the Clouds, Socrates is portrayed as an almost madman trying to measure the length of the jump of a flea that had bitten the forehead of one of his followers. Socrates’ followers are portrayed as pale and emaciated

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