Censorship In Aristophanes Clouds

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Comic playwrights in the Athenian culture were used to relay messages to the Athenian people. It was through these plays that were “the most important medium of censorship” that authors had the ability to comment, influence and effect Athenian polity. The main characters of Aristophanes’ Clouds are Socrates, Strepsiades and his son Phidippides. Strepsiades comes from the countryside and is accustomed to the “simple life”. However after marrying a woman from the city, he ends up moving there. His son being raised in the city has put him in a great deal of debt due to his love for horses. Trying to avoid paying off his debt he approaches Socrates and requests to “learn how to talk”. However he is unable to learn Socrates’ teaching and convinces his son to learn instead. This backfires on him as Phidippides learns to disobey his father and abuses him and even threatens to beat his mother (Navia 32). Strepsiades then decides to “avenge himself” and sets fire to Socrates’ school.…show more content…
However based on what we know of the main characters of comedies, it is very possible that this is all an exaggeration. The text states that “The essence of Greek comedy was the exploitation of well-known people and situations as sources of entertainment”. (Navia 35). Aristophanes portrays Socrates as a man living in a hanging basket, who has lost touch with reality. He instills this idea that Socrates is mad so that none of his actions and speeches are valid in the eyes of the

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