Sara Elice's Reviews > The Clouds

The Clouds by Aristophanes
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Jun 11, 09

bookshelves: play, translation, greek
Read in June, 2009, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I'm really impressed with the combo minds of Aristophanes and William Arrowsmith, who together are wonderful satirists. I'm not sure how much of the text was true translation of the original Greek and how much was the interpretation on the part of Arrowsmith, so I must attribute my liking of the bulk of the play to both men.

I love the following passage and what it's saying about people who buy into false trends:

Koryphaios: ...Sir, complete your course with us and you shall win a glory that towers to heaven.

Strepsiades: Could you be a little more specific?

Koryphaios: You shall pass your entire existence up in the air, among us, strolling about with your head in the Clouds...

The one thing I'd say I disliked and Arrowsmith pointed this out in a footnote as well, is the change of the purpose of The Clouds, aka The Chorus. Their original motivation seems to prove themselves the all-powerful and convince Strepsiades to give himself to sophistry. In the end, they have morphed into moral entities showing Strepsiades the error of casting off his morals and giving into the sophist mindset. This is of course inconsistent, if only because there is no hint that The Clouds are initially testing Strepsiades to see if he is weak and stupid enough to follow sophist thought.
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