Brooklyn College/Core Studies 1 A1 and C

Classical Origins of Western Culture

Self-Quiz:The Clouds

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1. Strepsiades wants to send his son Pheidippides to Sokrates' Thinkery to learn

that children should respect their parents
astronomy, entomology, and other new sciences
the proper social graces for a well-to-do Athenian
how to argue his way out of paying debts

2. Pheidipides refuses to go to the Thinkery because

he has already completed his education
he is afraid that he will not be able to understand the new scientific teachings
he has ro respect for traditional values
he is afraid he will look pale and scruffy like Sokrates' students

3. Before Sokrates appears, a Pupil reveals to Strepsiades that Sokrates has recently discussed the following:

the nature of human virtue
why the traditional gods deserve our reverence
which end of a gnat's digestive tract makes noise
the relationship between fate and free will

4. When Sokrates makes his entrance, he is

wheeled out on a moving platform by servants
suspended in a basket in mid-air
dancing with the Chorus of Clouds
preparing to give a formal lecture

5. One argument by which Sokrates tries to disprove the existence of Zeus is that

Zeus allowed the terrible bloodshed at Troy to take place
fate is really the most powerful force in the universe
lightning strikes temples and trees sacred to Zeus
there is only one supreme being

6. The Clouds are an appropriate chorus for this play because

they represent a new way of looking at natural phenomena
the audience traditionally worshipped them
Greek poets were fond of portraying them
Aristophanes wanted to encourage people to worship them

7. In the Parabasis the Chorus Leader, speaking for Aristophanes, says that

no one should take his play seriously
the Athenians should take immediate action against Sokrates and people like him
everyone should think critically about their own beliefs
the other comic poets are second-rate imitators of his own work

8. Sokrates tries to teach Strepsiades, among other things,

the difference between masculine and feminine nouns
the chemical constituents of water
the basic principles of astronomy
the proper way to pray to the gods

9. When Pheidippides takes Strepsiades' place as a pupil, the Better Argument and the Worse Agrument have a debate about educating him. The Worse Argument asserts that

justice does not exist
modesty is a bad idea
there's nothing wrong with having a gaping rear end
all of the above

10. At the end of the play the Clouds reveal that

they have triumphed over the traditional gods
Strepsiades no longer owes any debts
they have led Strepsiades astray so that he can learn devotion to the gods
Sokrates is their messenger on earth and everybody should heed his words


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