No play seems to have been more popular in the theatre, or to have been more frequently quoted and imitated. Before exiting, Dionysus announces his intentions to punish the disbelievers. There is the wisdom of the seer, of the old king, of the divinely possessed Maenads, of the devout Bacchae, and finally of the god himself. He then proceeds to let us know that he intends to punish all the folks in Thebes who say he's not a god. Because of the process of childbirth, women are seen as being more intimately connected with nature's cycles of birth and death. As well as an aptitude for poetry and theater, Euripides was a talented athlete and painter. Cadmus, the previous ruler of Thebes, and Tiresias, an elderly blind prophet, want to pay tribute to Dionysus, and dress up in fawn-skin and carry thyrsi, tall rods wrapped in ivy and topped with pine cones.
Dionysus - Originator, protagonist and central axis of The Bacchae, this god of wine, theater and group ecstasy appears mostly in disguise as a beautiful, longhaired, wine-flushed Lydian, the Stranger. Read an Agaue - Mother of Pentheus and daughter of Cadmus. In the case of The Bacchae, the Chorus is constituted by the Bacchae, devout female worshippers of Dionysus that the god has brought with him from Asia. But Pentheus refuses to listen to them, and he becomes more determined than ever to put an end to the new cult. Attendants enter, bringing a bound Dionysus disguised, remember, as a mortal.
Without limitations and interacting with mere mortals, Dionysius is able to direct the action and even create the costumes for the other characters. He is here, now, no distant or indifferent deity. They are still in the middle of their enchantment and rip him to shreds. Pentheus agrees to cross-dress and goes into the palace ruins to put on his outfit, which Dionysus helps him with. They trade snappy comments, with Pentheus growing increasingly angry. Dionysus fills us in on all we need to know at the beginning of the play.
At this moment, Pentheus arrives back in Thebes, having been out of the country for a few days. Occasional strokes of satire, directed against the grosser features of the legends, had been more than outweighed by the general tendency of his plays, which was not unfavourable to the established creed. Dionysus hovers above, reveling in his godly glory. There is nothing rational about this brutality. Agave ends up being banished from Thebes. Themes In Euripides' plays, he often used the gods to represent various aspects of human personalities.
Part of the Bacchic Ceremonies Dionysius arrives in Thebes as a peasant but enchants all its women into going up to the mountains as part of a bacchic orgy. The Bacchae had a great influence on Latin literature. The women were sleeping, chaste and composed instead of drunken and lewd, as Pentheus has imagined. Wisdom Sophia Wisdom takes many different forms in the play, and in Euripides truth has many faces. He is still pretending to be a mortal man.
Before long, a brings news of what has happened: Pentheus is dead. Acceptance and Compassion There is another sacred form of sophia in Euripides, and that is the wisdom that comes from suffering Arrowsmith 152-3. He takes the women from Thebes and gives them powers beyond those of mortal men; his presence is a threat to the very foundations of ordered society. But the more miracles occur, the more Pentheus becomes obsessed with defeating the new religion. No longer safe within the confines of Greek civilization, Pentheus is hunted and killed because of the god he denied.
The god tells the audience that he's going to teach the King and all of Thebes a lesson. Notice also that his rites are for all women, of all ages and ranks, and that he has brought with him a host of foreign followers; note also that the god, with his androgynous appearance, stands against Greek conceptions and social standards about gender. For modern readers, the Chorus may be the most alien element of the play. Dionysus revealed him to the Maenads, who ripped the boy to pieces with their bare hands. It is a very typical Greek attitude, and here Euripides touches on the theme of the Other, the exotic, the foreign. They exit the stage in opposite directions, signaling the destruction of their royal household.
Dionysus, Greek god of wine, fertility, ritual madness, and ecstasy returns to his hometown of Thebes, having sent the women of Asia wild with his religion. It is ambivalent, just as Dionysus is: capable of sustaining man, but also of destroying him. Though Pentheus claims that the devotees of the new religion are ignorant, there is nothing enlightened about his raving rejection of the new faith. He has brought with him a host of Asian followers, and he means to initiate Thebes into his new religion. He declares that he'll stop the spread of this new and terrible religion no matter what. We also learn that Cadmus, Dionysius' grandfather, will be turned into a snake. There's all kinds of suspense as the audience watches Agave slowly come to her senses.
Cadmus speaks with her gently, trying to help her return from the madness of the god. The beasts that have been mastered by man are destroyed; the buildings, crafted by the skill and ingenuity of man, are pillaged. His revenge against Pentheus and his house will be excessively brutal. He has heard that there is a priest who is at the center of the new religion, and Pentheus intends to have the man captured and possibly executed: the audience knows that this priest is Dionysus himself, disguised as a mortal. Pentheus enters, denouncing the new religion and the disorder it has brought to Thebes. Man can be hunted by man or in this case, woman , and also by primal animal god. He is impatient, bullying, and at times brutal.
Pentheus' immediate and outright rejection of the new piety is hardly rational. Initially, we see the Maenads in a complex mutual relationship with nature. The god comes out and launches into a monologue that gives us some exposition back-story about his bizarre birth. He's started by turning his mother's sisters into the. He says that Pentheus means nothing to him, and that the wise know how to restrain their passions. His Bacchae are closer to the gods, but the Thebans kill their own king.