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Clouds and Apology

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  1. Introduction
  2. Socrates: Thinking of ridiculous theories and playing with words
  3. Aristophanes' illustration of an argument between the 'better argument' and the 'worse argument'
  4. His excellent speech justifying his actions
  5. Conclusion

In ?Clouds,? by Aristophanes, and ?Apology,? by Plato, Socrates is portrayed in completely different ways. In ?Clouds,? Aristophanes attempts to ridicule Socrates and his followers, the Sophists. In his play, Aristophanes demonstrates that Socrates is corrupting the young men of Athens, and he uses satire to exaggerate many of the teachings brought forth by Socrates. Plato, who was a dedicated follower of Socrates, painted his mentor in a very positive light. Although most of the ?Apology? is actually a speech given by Socrates, we can assume that Plato had an interest to spin the story in a way that would favor Socrates, and the depiction was radically different from that of Aristophanes. In both works, excellent arguments and points attempt to prove the character and moral integrity of Socrates.

[...] Clouds and Apology In by Aristophanes, and by Plato, Socrates is portrayed in completely different ways. In Aristophanes attempts to ridicule Socrates and his followers, the Sophists. In his play, Aristophanes demonstrates that Socrates is corrupting the young men of Athens, and he uses satire to exaggerate many of the teachings brought forth by Socrates. Plato, who was a dedicated follower of Socrates, painted his mentor in a very positive light. Although most of the ?Apology? is actually a speech given by Socrates, we can assume that Plato had an interest to spin the story in a way that would favor Socrates, and the depiction was radically different from that of Aristophanes. [...]


[...] Socrates suggests that the Gods do not exist, and he teaches his followers to be materialistic and corrupt instead of honest and humble. Strepsiades, who is the main character in the play, decides that he can avoid paying his debts by joining the Sophists and learning how to argue using convincing rhetoric. He is convinced that the teachings are powerful enough to convince anybody of anything, even if his point is completely illogical or dishonest. This argument is called the ?worse argument,? and the play focuses on this speech tactic. [...]

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