Breaking down traditions: The “Clouds” and the “History of Peloponnesian War” Undeniably, the ancient Greek contemporary society places great emphasis on values and practices. The two text messages of the “Clouds” by Aristophanes and “History of the Peloponnesian war” by simply Thucydides, although contextually divergent, are actually conceptually convergent. Both texts are built around the central theme of the collapse of conventional values.
While the break down of classic values inside the “History of the Peloponnesian war” is shown in a more metaphorical and symbolical manner, the downfall of conventional beliefs in the “Clouds” is over a more immediate basis.
Although both text messages essentially communicate across the same solemn meaning that the relinquishment of traditional values leads to dire consequences, Aristophanes likewise implicitly difficulties the authority of aged values, and hopes to improve these traditions. The “Clouds” by Aristophanes is a satirical play mainly concerned with the concept of new and old education. A �pigramme is a composition or prose used to lampoon individuals or society. They often make use of ridicules and irony for the ostensible reason for exposing and discouraging vice or folly.
In the “Clouds”, viewers are presented with a failure of customarily accepted moral and ethical values, especially those that are related to education. Aristophanes is a staunch defender of old values. Through the comedy, he wants to show his support for logical reasoning that is well rounded and grounded in practical experience. At the same time, Aristophanes also wants to deliver a message to the theater people of sixth century that certain philosophers, particularly the sophists, weaken traditional principles and thus create as a threat to Traditional society.
Nevertheless , by intentionally satirizing the regular model of education with the new model through the comedy, Aristophanes subtly implies his belief that if a traditional system were to be still left unexamined, it might lose eyesight of the v�rit� and principles upon which it had been founded. This also demonstrates that Aristophanes is convinced the importance of criticism in the Athenian world, and that with criticism, a society may be improved upon. Compared to “The History of the Peloponnesian War, ” there are variations between the ways traditional values are separated.
In the other, the Mytilenian debate as well as the Melian dialogues are based on the war between Athens and its empire resistant to the Peloponnesian League led by simply Sparta. It really is more concerned together with the ethics of war and punishments instead of education in “The Clouds”. Warring leads to are ignited in the lumination of self-interest, as the Spartans dread the growth in the Athenian electric power. Many meaningful judgments, as dire implications of the battles, are debated upon. You will find increasing politics and moral confusions in Athens because of the rise ? mutiny of the Mytilenians and the neutral position have up by the Melians.
In the 2nd Mytilenian debate, the Athenians argue over the unmatched brutality of their actions plus some become reluctant about the hurried decision to get rid of and enslave the individuals of Mytileans. Democracy is a crucial concept to get the Greeks. In Cleon’s speech, however , he starts by questioning the well worth of democracy and this instigates a breakdown in the traditional ideals. “Personally I have had situations often enough already to observe that a democracy is not capable of governing other folks, and I was all the more confident of this while i see how you are now changing your minds about the Mytilenians. (Thuy a few. 37) Cleon believes that it is part of being human to revere the strong and make use of the weak, and so he pushes for the punishment of the Mytilenians. In the speech, Cleon also utilizes the art of rhetoric. He stresses that the Mytilenian are more than guilty and consequently deserve the punishment considering they are “calculated aggressors” (Thuy thirty eight. 13). Hence, Cleon shows that the Mytilenians are not worth the Athenian’s sympathy ballots. Such a way of argument can be described as sure fire case of sense of guilt or chasteness.
Making use of rhetoric devices and compromising the ideals of democracy infringement the beliefs of traditions in the Greek society. In contrast to that in the “Clouds”, Thucydides does not present any sign of defects of the traditional values. Although based on distinct circumstances, the breakdown of traditional ideals in “The History of the Peloponnesian war” parallels to that particular in the “Clouds”. The “Clouds” also utilizes extensive make use of rhetoric gadgets. Strepsiades determines to submit towards the sophist’s method of education, in order that he would be able to defend him self against his creditors.
The first sign of erosion of traditional worth is exposed when Strepsiades decides to enroll himself in the Thinkery under the guidance of Socrates. The cabability to manipulate dialect and turn anything into relativism erodes the guidelines of traditional Athenian beliefs. Indisputably, the newest philosophy wins. Sophistry is a type of linguistic device that, in the face of the weakness of traditional values, undermines the cost of anything. Strepsiades opines, “Holy Earth, exactly what a voice! How divine, just how awesome, how fantastic! ” (363) In which Socrates responds, “Yes, you already know, these are really the only divinities, all of the rest is definitely bunkum. (365) In the fresh system of morals as strongly suggested by the sophists, there is a denial of the traditional religion and a idea in the new “gods”. The comical method through which way of doing something is portrayed can be witty, however the core issue lies in the middle of the play’s moral indignation at what is happening in Athens. There are choices for that life is being systematically corrupted by seductive power of words, of language itself. Language is now a tool of human beings, modified to accommodate individual beings’ wishes, rather than leading those wants.
The underlying basis throughout the “Clouds” is a immediate correspondence towards the ideas since presented in the Mytilenian debate, that usually held ideals are now being little by little eroded in the light of self curiosity. As we improvement on to the remaining portion of the texts, the strain in disregarding traditional Ancient greek values even more intensifies. This really is evident in the “History of the Peloponnesian War” as we advance to the Melian dialogue. The true shades of being human are exposed under needy conditions. The Athenians have now completed the transition via democracy and are fully taking on the epitomes of imperialism.
The Athenians, in a frank and matter-of-fact manner, provide the Melians a great ultimatum: to surrender pay tribute to Athens, or be ruined. The Melian dialogue also opens up morality issues based upon destruction with the Melos. Classic democratic way of doing something is fragmented as imperialistic way of doing something is introduced. “Our opinion with the gods and our knowledge of men lead us to summarize that it is a standard and important law of nature to rule no matter what one can. ” (Thuy 5. 105). Abuses of traditional values will be reflected through the dialogue because both parties act in the mild of their own self-interests.
The Athenians make comprehensive use of rhetorical speeches so that they can exert their particular points and subjugate the Melians. My spouse and i quote the Athenians, “You, by giving in, would save yourselves by disaster, we all, by not really destroying you, would be able to make money from you” (Thuy 5. 93). The use of rhetoric embodies the idea of ethical and moral relativism. It uses the main belief in the sophists that nothing is overall and men are the way of measuring everything. The breakdown of traditional ideals is also increased and heightened in the “Clouds”, as shown in the fiery debate involving the Right and the Wrong Fights.
The issue is a direct, head on conflict of traditional values versus the new suggestions. Right’s disputes are focused around classic values just like respect, justice and diligence. On the other end, incorrect proposes thinking about moral and ethical relativism. This as well symbolizes a debate between nomos and physis. Rights is now no longer an inborn characteristic of humanity (physis), but rather a convention made by the sluggish party being a defense resistant to the stronger (nomos) counterpart. Correct and incorrect are now merely matters of convention. Right: “Simply by simply presenting the situation for justice”
Wrong: “It’ll crumble as soon as I open my oral cavity. My placement is that each and every such thing as justice” Right: “No such thing?! ” Wrong: “Well, when there is, where is it to be found? ” (901) Inside the debate, however, Right disagreement, who is supposed to follow the values of custom, makes use of rhetoric devices. The fundamentals of the classic Greek contemporary society are disintegrated. Also, Pheidippides’ final decision to find the Wrong discussion also represents the younger Athenian generation’s tendency to modernity and discard of traditions.
Although equally Aristophanes and Thucydides suggest the idea of the breakdown of traditional ideals, Aristophanes takes it to a higher level inside the “Clouds”. This individual acknowledges the faults with traditional values while at the same time criticizing the use of sophistry. He depicts the proper argument and an humiliation that utters vacuous claims such as “Be ashamed at the time you ought to be ashamed, ” (1013). This shows that Aristophanes seems that satire and criticism are no less important than traditions, as they allow the world to change and grow.
This is not the same as the “History of the Peloponnesian War” because Thucydides basically portrays the breakdown of traditional principles in a negative light. non-etheless, both text messages end on the similar note. The two authors present to the viewers/readers the dire effects as outcomes of breaching traditional ideals. In the framework of the “History of the Peloponnesian War”, the Melians are destroyed. Likewise, the very next range is record begins with the decline in the Athens as well as the justifications in the Melos. About the same time the Argives occupied Phliasia and were ambushed by the Phliasians and the bannissement from Argos, losing about eighty guys. ” (Thuy 5. 115) Thucydides presumably wants to demonstrate calamitous effects of the activities of the Athenians, as a result of heading against the practices. The Athenians are also entirely defeated with all the Syracusan victory. On the other hand, in the “Clouds”, our company is presented with the protagonists’ (Strepsiades) frustration that leads to devastation at the end in the play. Both equally texts do not move all of us beyond their very own final, distressing acts.
In the case of “Clouds”, this sort of a paradoxical ending to a comedy may be interpreted because an threatening warning. Divergence away from the traditional values may appear ridiculously foolish, especially when it can be presented in the form of a funny. However , the consequences are far via amusing. The very fact that there is zero choral closure after the losing of the Thinkery suggests that this ending is definitely ironically significant. Despite the genre differences with the texts, they are really dissimilar sales pitches and interpretations of the same theme—the breakdown of traditional Ancient greek values.
Both equally texts show the dire effects as a result of breaking off from the tradition, and so suggest the writers’ impression of disapproval. However , as Woody Allen once claimed, “Tradition is the illusion of permanence” As a society moves along, old traditions are certain to be questioned. Unlike inside the “History of Peloponnesian war”, Aristophanes identifies the limits of traditional values in the “Clouds”. While equally texts show the grim associated with the malfunction, Aristophanes provides it into a whole new level. Works Mentioned Aristophanes, and Alan Sommerstein. “The Clouds” Lysistrata And Other Plays. Penguin Classics, 2002. Print. 5. Thucydides, and Rex Warner. History of the Peloponnesian Warfare. London, Great britain: Penguin Group, 1972. Printing. * Schironi, Francesca. “Thucydides’ Social Theory (Athenian Plague, Corcyra), The Melian Conversation. ” Traditional Civilization 101 Lecture. Ann Arbor, Michigan. November 8, 2011 2. Schironi, Francesca. “Philosophy, Clinical Enquiry and the Greek Artistic Canon” Traditional Civilization info Lecture. Ann Arbor, Michigan. November 29, 2011