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Clouds Paperback – May 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461067073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461067078
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on standardized tests, Webster’s paperbacks take advantage of the fact that classics are frequently assigned readings in English courses. By using a running thesaurus at the bottom of each page, this edition of The Clouds by Aristophanes was edited for students who are actively building their vocabularies in anticipation of taking PSAT®, SAT®, AP® (Advanced Placement®), GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT® or similar examinations.

PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Data Not Found --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
The legend is that when Aristophanes' comedy "The Clouds" was first performed in Athens in 423 B.C., his target, Socrates, stood throughout the performance so that everyone in the audience was aware that he was there and hearing what was said of him. The portrait of Socrates clearly satirical and most critics consider it to be inaccurate. But Aristophanes is making fun of Athens' renowned "Think-tank" the "Phrontisterion," the school where the rich young men of Athens were taught the fine art of rhetoric. Instead of anything lofty the comic poet suggests the primary purpose of such an education is to be clever and out-reason greedy creditors. This is an especially good translation of the play, which includes insightful notes and essays on both Old Comedy and the Theater of Dionysus that helps readers understand the conventions of staged comedy at the time of Aristophanes.
In this comedy Socrates is consulted by an old rogue, Strepsiades (sometimes translated as "Twisterson"), who is upset with the mountain of debts his playboy son Phidippides, who loves fast horses and fast living. Phidippides agrees to go to Socrates' school of logic where he can learn to make a wrong argument sound right. After graduation is able to use the system of "unjust logic" to outwit his father and kick him out of the family home. The Chorus of Clouds comments on the proceedings and in the end the Phrontisterion is burned to the ground by Strepsiades.
The flaw of the play is Aristophanes is trying to satirize the Sophists, who were popularizing a new philosophy that denied the possibility of ever reaching objective truth, he picked the wrong target. The Sophists were mostly teachers who were not native to Athens, such as Isocartes and Gorgias.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Felicia Gregg on December 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was difficult to read. It was filled with mechanical errors. words were spelled wrong, the grammar was off, and several parts of the book were switched.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miranda on May 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Clouds: Illustrated
A little light reading, for class. The Clouds, I needed the information in a hurry, but then I like reading anyway. This book was good and worthwhile. It landed in my Kindle book collection, and I take my books with me where ever I go. Love it! Illustrations are alright but not great. I can change the fonts to a size that is comfortable to read without glasses, or I can turn on the text reader and listen. Love my Kindle and love the books that I buy to go with it. The prices are so great, lots of the classics are free, leaving room in the budget to buy the others that are not. One day I may have enough time to read The Clouds for pleasure.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Santi Tafarella on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aristophanes' comedy "Clouds" is a humorous send-up of Greek rationalism, science, atheism, and lawyerly sophistry, as supposedly represented by Socrates and the philosophical and sophistic schools of Athens. Aristophanes portrays intellectuals as an arrogant class of effete and pasty skinned unbelievers. Except for their skills in rhetoric, which help them get around the law and rip people off, their knowledge is of little worldly or practical value. In other words, their heads are figuratively in the clouds (hence the play's title).

"Clouds" is funny in places, but also disturbing in its anti-intellectualism and nostalgia for marshal virtues and doubt-free theism. If Aristophanes were alive today, he might be a caustic, and very conservative, Republican (or even a Fascist). For all this, his play has an undeniably contemporary feel in its critiques of rhetoric, and makes a good primer for reflection on the nihilistic and shameless uses of argumentation (as when oil company representatives engage in blatant sophistries to cast doubt on global warming science).

But when, at the end of the play, the lead character (Strepsiades) gleefully burns down the school of Socrates, one is sobered by the reactionary nature of the play. The ending reminds one of humanity's long and tragic history of genocide and iconoclasm (the destroying of a rival ideology's texts, idols, symbols, or buildings). The ending of Aristophanes' play clearly suggests that the killing of an entire class of people in his society would be a positive development. It is not without reason that Plato famously attributed Socrates' death, at least in part, to the popular prejudice generated against him by Aristophanes' "Clouds."

In short, Aristophanes' play is thought-provoking, funny, and sobering. It's an easy read and, even after 2500 years, still relevant.
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