“Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.” - George Prentice
Strepsiades is an elderly Athenian whose sleep has been troubled lately due to his mounting debts. he devises a plan and asks his son Pheidippides to enroll at The Thinkery. the young man protests and refuses to be persuaded. the old man decides to enroll so he can learn from Socrates himself how to beat his creditors by employing winning arguments in court.
The Clouds is a comedy and playwright Aristophanes wrote it as a parody of intellectual thoughts and known personages during his time. it may not be funny by today's standards but some of the situations and dialogs between Strepsiades and Socrates were amusing to a certain degree. despite Socrates' demonstrations and explanation, his student Strepsiades could never learn or remember anything that he had to send him away. during certain parts of the play, goddesses of thinkers and deadbeats appear and manifest themselves as clouds. they interact with Strepsiades and Socrates and address the audience. it is strange and i do not really know how to explain it but i actually find their presence a little disconcerting.
i wish i knew more about the people and places which the characters were talking about so i could understand everything better.still, reading this play was quite a learning experience for me. it has been a long time since i had the chance to read or talk about one. i am just grateful i do not have to be graded for it. just like poor debt-ridden Strepsiades, i would probably have earned a failing mark for my "ineptitude".
*The Clouds is available in print and digital formats. popular ebook versions can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks and in pdf from Dodo Press at Book Depository.