Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Clouds and the History of Peloponnesian War

Breaking see traditions The Clouds and the report of Peloponnesian War Undeniably, the ancient Greek ordering places a heavy emphasis on set and traditions. The two texts of the Clouds by Aristophanes and narration of the Peloponnesian fight by Thucydides, although contextually divergent, ar actually conceptually convergent. Both texts argon built around the central theme of the hand of conventional set. While the dislocation of handed-down shelters in the explanation of the Peloponnesian war is presented in a more than metaphorical and symbolic manner, the downfall of conventional value in the Clouds is on a more direct buns.Although some(prenominal) texts essentially convey across the same portentous message that the relinquishment of traditionalistic values leads to dire consequences, Aristophanes as well as implicitly challenges the authority of old values, and hopes to improve upon these traditions. The Clouds by Aristophanes is a satirical spiel primarily concerned with the image of new and old teaching method. A chaff is a composition or prose workd to lampoon individuals or social club. They normally make use of ridicules and irony for the ostensible purpose of exposing and discouraging transgression or folly.In the Clouds, viewers ar presented with a breakdown of traditionally original moral and ethical values, especially those that atomic number 18 related to education. Aristophanes is a unshakable defender of old values. Through the waggery, he wishes to show his support for crystalline reasoning that is well rounded and grounded in practical experience. Simultaneously, Aristophanes also wants to riposte a message to the theater audiences of fifth century that certain philosophers, in particular the sophists, beneathmine traditional values and thus pose as a threat to Greek society.However, by deliberately satirizing the traditional model of education with the new model throughout the comedy, Aristophanes subtly s uggests his whim that if a traditional system were to be left unexamined, it might lose sight of the convictions and values upon which it was founded. This also shows that Aristophanes believes the importance of criticism in the Athenian society, and that with criticism, a society can be improved upon. In comparison to The accounting of the Peloponnesian War, in that respect argon distinctions between the ways in which traditional values argon broken down.In the latter, the Mytilenian debate and the Melian dialogues are found on the war between capital of Greece and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. It is more concerned with the ethics of war and punishments rather than education in The Clouds. Warring sparks are ignited in the light of self-inte respite, as the Spartans solicitude the growth of the Athenian power. Many moral judgments, as dire consequences of the wars, are debated upon. on that point are increasing political and ethical confusions in Athens as a end point of the revolt of the Mytilenians and the neutral position shine up by the Melians.In the 2nd Mytilenian debate, the Athenians argue over the unprecedented ferociousness of their actions and some become hesitant about the hurried decision to vote out and enslave the citizens of Mytileans. Democracy is an classical concept for the Greeks. In Cleons speech, however, he begins by questioning the worth of democracy and this instigates a breakdown in the traditional values. Personally I have had occasions often overflowing already to observe that a democracy is incapable of governing others, and I am all the more convinced of this when I see how you are now changing your minds about the Mytilenians. (Thuy 3. 37) Cleon believes that it is part of military personnel nature to admire the strong and take advantage of the weak, and hence he pushes for the punishment of the Mytilenians. In his speech, Cleon also employs the art of elaborateness. He stresses that t he Mytilenian are more than guilty and then deserve the punishment since they are calculated aggressors (Thuy 36. 13). Hence, Cleon suggests that the Mytilenians are not worthwhile of the Athenians sympathy votes. Such a way of seam is a sure fire case of guilt or innocence.Making use of rhetoric devices and compromising the ideals of democracy breach the ideals of traditions in the Greek society. opposed that in the Clouds, Thucydides does not show any sign of flaws of the traditional values. Although based on different circumstances, the breakdown of traditional values in The History of the Peloponnesian war parallels to that in the Clouds. The Clouds also utilizes extensive use of rhetoric devices. Strepsiades decides to submit to the sophists way of education, so that he would be able to defend himself against his creditors.The first sign of erosion of traditional value is exposed when Strepsiades decides to enroll himself in the Thinkery under the guidance of Socrates. The ability to duck language and turn everything into relativism erodes the principles of traditional Athenian beliefs. Indisputably, the new philosophy wins. worldliness is the type of linguistic device that, in the face of the weakness of traditional beliefs, undermines the value of anything. Strepsiades opines, Holy Earth, what a voice How divine, how awesome, how fantastic (363) In which Socrates responds, Yes, you know, these are the only real divinities, all the rest is bunkum. (365) In the new system of beliefs as advocated by the sophists, on that point is a rejection of the traditional religion and a belief in the new gods. The comical way through which ideas are portrayed may be witty, but the core issue lies at the heart of the plays moral indignation at what is happening in Athens. There are possibilities for that life is being systematically corrupted by the teasing power of words, of language itself. Language is now a tool of human beings, modified to accommodate human beings desires, rather than directing those desires.The underlying basis here in the Clouds is a direct correspondence to the ideas as presented in the Mytilenian debate, that traditionally held values are now being gradually wear past in the light of self interest. As we progress on to the rest of the texts, the tension in breaking traditional Greek values further intensifies. This is evident in the History of the Peloponnesian War as we submit to the Melian dialogue. The true colors of human nature are exposed under desperate conditions. The Athenians have now completed the transition from democracy and are fully embracing the epitomes of imperialism.The Athenians, in a frank and matter-of-fact manner, expand the Melians an ultimatum to surrender and pay tribute to Athens, or be destroyed. The Melian dialogue also rotates up morality issues based on destruction of the Melos. Traditional parliamentary ideas are fragmented as imperialistic ideas are introduced. Our opinion o f the gods and our knowledge of men lead us to conclude that it is a general and demand law of nature to rule whatever one can. (Thuy 5. 105). Abuses of traditional values are reflected throughout the dialogue as both parties act in the light of their own self-interests.The Athenians make extensive use of rhetorical speeches in an attempt to exert their points and subjugate the Melians. I quote the Athenians, You, by gift in, would save yourselves from disaster we, by not destroying you, would be able to pull a bearing from you (Thuy 5. 93). The use of rhetoric embodies the concept of ethical and moral relativism. It checks the core belief of the sophists that nothing is absolute and men are the measure of everything. The breakdown of traditional values is also intensified and heightened in the Clouds, as presented in the warm debate between the properly and the Wrong Arguments.The debate is a direct, head on clash of traditional values versus the new ideas. Rights arguments are have-to doe with around traditional values such as respect, umpire and diligence. On the opposing end, wrong proposes the idea of moral and ethical relativism. This also symbolizes a debate between nomos and physis. Justice is now no longer an internal characteristic of humanity (physis), but rather a convention invented by the weaker party as a defense against the stronger (nomos) counterpart. Right and wrong are now merely matters of convention. Right Simply by presenting the case for justiceWrong Itll crumble as soon as I open my mouth. My position is that there isnt any such thing as justice Right No such thing? Wrong Well, if there is, where is it to be found? (901) In the debate, even the Right argument, who is supposed to follow the ideals of tradition, makes use of rhetoric devices. The fundamentals of the traditional Greek society are disintegrated. Also, Pheidippides final decision to choose the Wrong argument also represents the younger Athenian generations inc lination to modernity and discard of tradition.Although both Aristophanes and Thucydides suggest the idea of the breakdown of traditional values, Aristophanes takes it to a higher level in the Clouds. He acknowledges the faults with traditional values while simultaneously criticizing the use of sophistry. He depicts the Right argument and an embarrassment that utters vacuous statements such as Be disgraced when you ought to be ashamed, (1013). This shows that Aristophanes feels that satire and criticism are no less important than traditions, as they allow the society to morph and flourish.This is different from the History of the Peloponnesian War as Thucydides simply portrays the breakdown of traditional values in a negative light. Nonetheless, both texts end on a analogous note. The two writers present to the viewers/readers the dire consequences as results of breaching traditional values. In the context of the History of the Peloponnesian War, the Melians are destroyed. Also, t he very bordering line is history begins with the decline of the Athens and the justifications of the Melos. About the same fourth dimension the Argives invaded Phliasia and were ambushed by the Phliasians and the exiles from Argos, losing about eighty men. (Thuy 5. 115) Thucydides presumably wants to show the calamitous consequences of the actions of the Athenians, as a result of going against the traditions. The Athenians are also completely foiled with the Syracusan victory. On the other hand, in the Clouds, we are presented with the protagonists (Strepsiades) frustration that leads to destruction at the end of the play. Both texts do not move us beyond their final, unsettling acts.In the case of Clouds, such a paradoxical ending to a comedy can be interpreted as an ominous warning. Divergence away from the traditional values may seem ridiculously silly, especially when it is presented in the form of a comedy. However, the consequences are far from amusing. The very fact that there is no choral closure after the burning of the Thinkery suggests that this ending is ironically serious. Despite the genre differences of the texts, they are dissimilar presentations and interpretations of the same themethe breakdown of traditional Greek values.Both texts show the dire consequences as a result of breaking off from the tradition, and hence suggest the writers sense of disapproval. However, as wooden Allen once alleged, Tradition is the illusion of permanence As a society progresses, old traditions are bound to be challenged. Unlike in the History of Peloponnesian war, Aristophanes recognizes the limits of traditional values in the Clouds. While both texts show the grim effects of the breakdown, Aristophanes brings it to a whole new level. whole shebang Cited Aristophanes, and Alan Sommerstein. The Clouds Lysistrata And Other Plays. Penguin Classics, 2002. Print. * Thucydides, and Rex Warner. History of the Peloponnesian War. London, EnglandPenguin Group, 1972 . Print. * Schironi, Francesca. Thucydides Social Theory (Athenian Plague Corcyra) The Melian Dialogue. untainted Civilization 101 Lecture. Ann Arbor, Michigan. November 8, 2011 * Schironi, Francesca. Philosophy, Scientific Enquiry and the Greek Artistic order Classical Civilization 101 Lecture. Ann Arbor, Michigan. November 29, 2011

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