Just and Unjust Speech in Aristophanes' "Clouds"

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Throughout Aristophanes’ “Clouds” there is a constant battle between old and new. It makes itself apparent in the Just and Unjust speech as well as between father and son. Ultimately, Pheidippides, whom would be considered ‘new’, triumphs over the old Strepsiades, his father. This is analogous to the Just and Unjust speech. In this debate, Just speech represents the old traditions and mores of Greece while the contrasting Unjust speech is considered to be newfangled and cynical towards the old. While the defeat of Just speech by Unjust speech does not render Pheidippides the ability to overcome Strepsiades, it is a parallel that may be compared with many other instances in Mythology and real life. The dialogue between the Just and Unjust speech was handled very skillfully on the part of the Unjust speech. Although the points that the Just speech made were what many would consider to be true and right, Unjust speech exemplified a mastery of language by using wordplay and turning any suggestion made by its “stronger” opposition against itself. For example Just speech was implying sur...

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