Strepsiades Is To Blame In Aristophanes Clouds

1235 Words5 Pages

In Aristophanes’ Clouds, Strepsiades is told that “Zeus is dead and Vortex has taken his place on the throne” (381-381) by Socrates. Then he tells his son, Pheidippides, how stupid he is to think that Zeus is still a god, only a few days after he has ‘learned’ this information himself. In the same way he uses this knowledge that “There is no Zeus” (1167) to try to remove his debtors. Then once the clouds scold him for attempting to outsmart his debtors he agrees by saying, “Ah, holy Clouds, that’s harsh- but you’re right” (1462-3). Then he decides war on Socrates and his Thinkery “for the way they swindled both of [them]” (1465-6). This is when the quote from above takes place, Strepsiades claims that Socrates is to blame for him rejecting …show more content…

He teases and taunts his son with words like “‘Zeus in heaven’ -ha! How stupid can you get? Believing in Zeus- a big boy like you?” (818-19). Strepsiades is instantly demeaning his son even though the only knowledge that his son has was given to him by his father. Strepsiades is inadvertently showing his son that if he went to the Thinkery he would be enlightened and not ‘stupid’ as he apparently is now. Strepsiades then regurgitates the conversation he had with Socrates and claims victory without Pheidippides even combatting his argument. Socrates, when meeting Pheidippides makes similar remarks about him, which Strepsiades takes it to mean he did a job well done. This may not necessarily be the case, but Strepsiades is now more confident than before. These ‘gods’ of the Clouds and Vortex seem to be helping him, they got his son to see Socrates. Strepsiades continues to believe in the gods of Socrates, because they are convenient for him. And this takes a great toll on his interaction that he will soon have with his …show more content…

This does not sit well with Strepsiades, he blames the Clouds saying, “Clouds this is your fault. I put my whole fate in your hands, and this is what you’ve done to me” (1452-3). The Clouds respond with telling him that it is his own fault and “[he] turned [himself] to evil crookery” (1455). This is the turning point in Strepsiades’ beliefs, in which his son uses the very same argument that Strepsiades had been using many times earlier. Pheidippides says, “Paternal Zeus indeed! How out of date you are! Do you mean you think Zeus exists?” Strepsiades responds with, “He does” and Pheidippides quotes back what his father told him days earlier, that “Vortex is king now; he has driven Zeus from power” (1469-1473). For some reason Strepsiades changes what he believes from the Clouds and Vortex to Zeus. He claims that “[he] only believed that because of this image here” (1473). The image he is referring to is a whirlpool shaped cup in front of the Thinkery, instead of a monument resurrected for a god. Strepsiades took this cup to be the icon of the god Vortex and not one for the ‘celestial vortex’ in which it was intended. He then blames the Clouds and especially Socrates for ‘persuading him to discard the gods’. He then looks to Hermes and asks him to not “be cross with [him], don’t destroy [him]. Have pity on [him]” (1480).

Open Document