The Clouds

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Definition

The Clouds is a comedy written c. 423 BCE by the Greek playwright Aristophanes (c. 448 BCE – c. 385 BCE). A failure at the Dionysia competition, finishing third out of three, it was revised later in 418 BCE but never produced in the author's lifetime. The play as it now appears is believed to be the revised version. In The Clouds a familiar theme reappears. As in another Aristophanes play, The Wasps, a troubled traditional father is pitted against his citified young son; the old versus the new. Strepsiades, the father, is an old farmer who had married well beyond his means and whose son, Pheidippides, has an affinity for horses. Unfortunately, the son has accumulated a large debt which the father cannot repay. In an attempt to avoid facing his creditors, the old man goes to a nearby school run by Socrates - The Thinkery - to learn how to argue, making a wrong argument right. Although the father fails miserably as a student, he is able to convince his son to attend the school. In the end, the young Pheidippides learns well enough to even defend the beating of his own father.

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