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Essay heading: Socrate's First Accusers And Athenian Law
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Issue: Philosophy
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Date added: June 23, 2006
No of pages / words: 4 / 1087
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This is the charge of the "old" accusers. It is seen from an example in "The Clouds". Strepsiades goes to Socrates in order to learn how to persuade his son by "making the weaker speech the stronger" (Aristophanes, 112). Why does Socrates remind the assembly about the old accusers? It appears improper for a man on trial to bring about his other 'crimes'...
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Aristophanes, in particular, is implicated by Socrates as an old accuser. "For you yourselves used to see these things in the comedy of Aristophanes" (Plato, 19c). The poets helped to shape Greek culture. Poetry was passed on and perpetuated the city where thought constantly changed. Philosphy begins in debunking what the city thinks they know in order to refute the god...
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This is the charge of the "old" accusers. It is seen from an example in "The Clouds". Strepsiades goes to Socrates in order to learn how to pursuade his son by "making the weaker speech the stronger" (Aristophanes, 112)...
4 / 1085
the classical leisure from The Cloud
Incidentally, we notice several references in the play to esoteric knowledges (Strepsiades, in dsetroying the Academy, goes on to mock Socrates for "looking to the moon," which had been referenced earlier as one of the characters complained about Athens' calendar being innacurate in regards to the New Moon); Aristophanes would have been aware of these things, and was likely mocking the hypocrisy of the various circles of Athens, especially those who claimed to be "initiated" into deeper mysteries, which Aristophanes is demonstrating to be mere folly in comparison to the reality of these mysteries, namely, the Clouds and the Universe itself...
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As Socrates points out, it is impossible for him to be both atheistic and to believe in demons, or false gods, for if he believes in the latter, then that would contradict his not believing in gods at all (since even demons are considered to be at least demi-gods)...
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Throughout the trial, he acted as though he wanted to lose the case. He went out of his way to antagonize the jury, making comments that associated himself with certain people and ideas that were offensive to the jury...
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The Clouds
He disrupts the audiences' comfort through covertly making accusations towards the credibility of Athenians as whole-hearted people. He places them on a plane with people of today's society who seek skeptical methods of living...
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It is hard for us to really understand how deeply these beliefs were rooted into their personalities, to the Greeks if some natural phenomenon occurred it occurred because one of their gods had decided to make it occur, it was just as simple as that...
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