Strepsiades’ house (strehp-SI-eh-dees). Home of Strepsiades, a plodding but solid citizen of Athens who is hounded by creditors because of debts incurred through the excesses of his son Pheidippides. His home appears to be a typical middle-class Athenian household. Pheidippides sleeps in a room next to his father’s, and servants are quartered close enough to come when called. Strepsiades’ room doubles as an office in which he works his accounts—which mostly concern paying his son’s bills.
Thinkery (Thinking-School or phrontistérion)
Thinkery (Thinking-School or phrontistérion). House owned by the philosopher Socrates, who is conducting scientific experiments when he is first approached by Strepsiades, who finds him suspended in a basket “contemplating the sun.” This laboratory-like environment is a cross between a place of wonder and a madhouse. Groups of students stare into the ground, studying the underworld. Strepsiades sees a number of scientific instruments used by the students in their investigations. When Socrates appears, he enters from above, lowered down on a winch used in the tragedies for the entrance of gods from the heavens. This is followed by a visit from a chorus of clouds, brought down from the heavens as part of Socrates’ politically dangerous examination of things beyond the earth.
*Athens. Cosmopolitan Greek cultural center of late fifth century b.c.e. The Athens revealed by the play’s two houses bustles with intellectual activity. It is also a center of commercial activity, and the high level of culture is indicated by the leisure available to Strepsiades’ young son Pheidippides, who has squandered a fortune on horse racing. The allegorical figure Right sees the Athenian marketplace and public baths as the source of the boy’s corruption.