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Aristophanes: Clouds

6. Socrates and the Sophists

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About this Lecture


In this module, we focus on one of the central figures of the play, Socrates, comparing his presentation in the Clouds to what we know about him from other contemporary sources, including Xenophon and Plato.


In this course, we explore Aristophanes’ Clouds, thinking in particular about where the play sits in Aristophanes’ life and career, its distinctive structure and themes, the presentation of Socrates in the play, and what it is that makes the play so appealing.


James' classical career began with a degree in Greek and Roman Studies at Exeter, followed by postgraduate work at King’s College London, where he completed a PhD on humour and obscenity in the works of the Greek comic playwright, Aristophanes. Since arriving at the OU in 2000, he has been involved in the production of a number of the department’s courses, with the bulk of my work centring on fifth-century Greece and our Latin and Greek language modules.

A major strand of James' research concerns the Greek comic playwright Aristophanes, especially the humour and sexuality of his plays and their translation into English. More recently he has been looking at sex and sexuality in classical Athenian society in general and concepts of beauty and sex appeal in particular.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Robson, J. (2018, August 15). Aristophanes: Clouds - Socrates and the Sophists [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Robson, J. "Aristophanes: Clouds – Socrates and the Sophists." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,