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By: (446-389 BCE)

Clouds by Aristophanes is a witty and satirical play that provides a sharp critique of the intellectual and philosophical trends of ancient Athenian society. The play follows the story of Strepsiades, a debt-ridden farmer who enrolls in a school run by Socrates to learn the art of sophistry in order to outwit his creditors.

Aristophanes uses humor and absurdity to skewer the pretentiousness and foolishness of the intellectual elite, particularly Socrates and the Sophists. The character of Socrates is portrayed as a manipulative and corrupt teacher who values clever rhetoric over genuine wisdom, while Strepsiades is portrayed as a hapless and gullible student who is easily swayed by empty promises.

Despite being written over two thousand years ago, the themes of Clouds are still relevant today. The play serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of misplaced trust in charismatic leaders and the importance of critical thinking and skepticism.

Overall, Clouds is a thought-provoking and entertaining work that showcases Aristophanes' sharp wit and insight into human nature. It is a timeless comedy that continues to resonate with audiences centuries after it was first performed.

Book Description:
Strepsiades is an Athenian burdened with debt from a bad marriage and a spendthrift son. He resolves to go to the Thinking Shop, where he can purchase lessons from the famous Socrates in ways to manipulate language in order to outwit his creditors in court. Socrates, represented as a cunning, manipulative, irreverent sophist, has little success with the dull-witted Strepsiades, but is able to teach the old man's son Phidippides a few tricks. In the end, the play is a cynical, clever commentary on Old Ways vs. New Ways, to the disparagement of the former.

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