“Clouds” of Aristophanes in brief

In Athens, the most famous philosopher was Socrates. For his philosophy, he then paid with his life: he was brought to trial and executed precisely because he had questioned too much, deconstructing manners and thereby weakened the state. But before that it was still far: first it was only brought out in a comedy. At the same time, he was attributed to him something that he never said or thought about, and against which he argued: for that and comedy.

The comedy was called “Clouds”, and its chorus consisted of Clouds – fluttering bedspreads and for some reason long noses. Why “Clouds”? Because philosophers first of all began to reflect, of what consists all variety of set of subjects around of us. Maybe from water, which is both liquid, solid, and gaseous? or from a fire that is constantly moving and changing? or from some kind of “uncertainty”? Then why not from the clouds that change shape every minute? Therefore, the Clouds are the

new gods of the new philosophers. Socrates did not have this relationship: he was not very interested in the origin of the universe, but more – human actions, good and bad. But the comedy it was all the same.

Human actions are also dangerous. Fathers and grandfathers did not think and did not argue, and from youth they knew very well what was good and what was bad. New philosophers began to reason, and they seemed to work out, as if by logic one can prove that good is not so good, and bad is not bad at all. That’s what worried the Athenian citizens; This is what Aristophanes wrote about the comedy “Clouds”.

There lives in Athens a strong man named Strepsiad, and he has a son, a young dandy: he follows the nobility, takes a great interest in jumps and raises his father’s debts. To the father and to sleep unbearable: thoughts about creditors gnaw it, as fleas. But it came to him that some new wise men in Athens were found who could prove the truth to be true, and the truth to be untrue. If you learn from them, then maybe you will be able to fight back against creditors in court?

And in his old age, Strepsiad goes to study.

Here is the house of Socrates, there is a sign on it: “Thought.” The disciple of Socrates explains how thin objects are taught here. Here, for example, the student talked with Socrates, bit his flea, and then jumped and bit Socrates. How far did she jump? It’s like counting: human jumps we measure human steps, and flea jumps must be measured flea. I had to take a flea, print her legs on wax, measure her step, and then with these steps to measure the jump. Or is it another: the mosquito is buzzing with a larynx or an ass? His body is tubular, he flies quickly, the air flies into his mouth, and flies through the backside, so it turns out that his ass. What is it? Geographical map: look, this circle is Athens. “I can not believe in anything: in Athens, it’s not a step, it’s disputants and hooks, and in the circle of this not a single one is visible.”

Here is Socrates himself: hanging in a hammock above the roof itself. What for? To understand the universe, you need to be closer to the stars. “Socrates, Socrates, I conjure thee with gods: teach me such speeches, that I should not pay debts!” “What gods, we have new gods, the Clouds.” “And Zeus?” – “Why Zeus? In them, and thunder, they are lightning, and instead of Zeus they are driven by a whirlwind.” “How is it thunder?” – “But how you have bad air in your stomach muttering, and in the clouds grumbles, this is the thunder.” – “Who punishes sinners?” – “Does Zeus punish them? If he punished them, they would not be happy with such and such, and such-and-such, and such-and-they walk themselves alive!” – “How to be with them?” – “And the language for what? Learn to argue – and you will punish them yourself. Whirlwind, Clouds and Language – that’s our sacred trinity!

So how do you get rid of creditors? “It’s simpler than simple: they’ll take you to court, and you swear by Zeus that they did not take anything from them, Zeus has long been gone, there’s nothing for you and will not be for a false oath.” So what, really with the truth can not be considered? “Look here.” The main dispute begins. Large baskets are brought to the stage, Pravda and Krivda sit in them, like fighting cocks. They get out and fly at each other, and the choir picks it up. “Where in the world did you see the truth?” – “the gods of the Most High!” – “Is this where the Zeus father of his father was dethroned and shackled in chains?” “And our ancestors, who lived in order, humbly, obediently, respected the old, defeated the enemies and conducted scholarly talks.” – “You never knew what happened to your ancestors, and now you will not achieve anything by humility, be impudent – and you will win!” Other people have a nature, other – by arrangement; that by nature – it is higher! Drink, walk, harp, nature follow! And catch you with another’s wife – say: I – like Zeus, I sleep with everyone who likes it! “Word for word, slap in the face, look – Krivda is indeed stronger than Truth.

Strepsiad with his son. The creditor comes: “Pay the debt!” Strepsiad swears to him: “Zeus sees, I did not take a penny from you!” – “OZOO will break you Zeus!” – “WILL protect the Clouds!” The second creditor comes. “Pay interest!” – “And what is interest?” – “The debt lies and grows with each month: here and pay with a gain!” – “Tell me, the rivers are flowing and flowing in the sea, but does it grow?” – “No, where else should it grow!” – “Then with what kind of money and money to grow? You will not get a penny from me!” Creditors with curses flee, Strepsiad triumphs, but the chorus of Clouds warns: “Beware, the payoff is near!”

The payment comes from an unexpected side, Strepsiad quarreled with his son: they did not agree with the views of Euripides. Son, without thinking twice, grabs a stick and pounding his father. Father in horror: “There is no such law – pounding fathers!” And the son says: “We’ll want to – we’ll take it and get it!” It’s impossible to beat fathers by arrangement, but by nature – why not? ” Then only the old man understands what disaster has got into. He calls to the Clouds: “Where did you entrap me?” The clouds answer: “Do you remember Aeschylovo’s word: we learn by suffering!” Taught by bitter experience, Strepsiad grabs a torch and runs to kill Socrates – to set fire to his “thinking”. Cries, fire, smoke, and comedy end.

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“Clouds” of Aristophanes in brief