Download Clouds by Aristophanes, Translated by Ian Johnston PDF

By Aristophanes, Translated by Ian Johnston

The comedian drama Clouds (423 BC) is without doubt one of the most famed and renowned satires ever written. In it Aristophanes, the best comedian dramatist of precedent days, takes factor with the highbrow and ethical depravity of his fellow Athenians, relatively with their thirst for radical concepts in conventional methods of considering and for his or her unscrupulous self-interest. The play is very well-known for its portrayal of Socrates, the objective of a lot of the very strong satire. right here, he's pictured as a cartoon of the arch sophist, desirous to make cash through education younger Athenians so that it will effectively use corrupt notions of language, legislations, and simply dealing to their very own virtue. The portrait is obviously at huge odds with what we all know approximately Socrates from different assets; still his personality this is very well-known as an unforgettable photo of a sly highbrow rogue. The Athenians are available in for his or her proportion of funny satiric feedback besides, given how grasping they're to exploit humans like Socrates to flee unwelcome duties. Aristophanes evidently exaggerates significantly for comedian influence, however the ominous tone within the play's finishing reminds us that a few years later those electorate became opposed to the ancient Socrates and condemned him to demise.

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Sample text

I was cooking food, a pig’s belly, for my family. I forgot to slit it open. It began to swell— then suddenly blew up, splattering blood in both my eyes and burning my whole face. CHORUS LEADER Oh you who seeks from us great wisdom, how happy you will be among Athenians, among the Greeks, if you have memory, if you can think, if in that soul of yours you’ve got the power to persevere, and don't get tired standing still or walking, nor suffer too much from the freezing cold, with no desire for breakfast, if you abstain from wine, from exercise, and other foolishness, if you believe, as all clever people should, the highest good is victory in action, in deliberation and in verbal wars.

1 [690] SOCRATES You see? You said “Amynia,” a woman’s name. STREPSIADES And that’s fair enough, since she’s unwilling to do army service. But what’s the point? Why do I need to learn what we all know? SOCRATES That’s irrelevant, by god. Now lie down— [indicating the bed] right here. STREPSIADES And do what? SOCRATES You should contemplate— think one of your own problems through. 910 STREPSIADES Not here, I beg you—no. If I have to do it, let me do my contemplating on the ground. SOCRATES No—you’ve got no choice.

970 SOCRATES Lay it out. STREPSIADES All right. Tell me now . . SOCRATES What is it? STREPSIADES What if I purchased a Thessalian witch and in the night had her haul down the moon— then shut it up in a circular box, just like a mirror, and kept watch on it. SOCRATES How would that provide you any help? STREPSIADES Well, if no moon ever rose up anywhere, I’d pay no interest. 55 [750] SOCRATES And why is that? STREPSIADES Because they lend out money by the month. 980 SOCRATES That’s good. I’ll give you another problem— it’s tricky.

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