Analysis Of Euripides The Virulent Nature Of Divine Vengeance

analytical Essay
1264 words
1264 words

The Virulent Nature of Divine Vengeance
Euripides’ plays Hippolytus, The Bacchae and Iphigenia at Aulis all revolve around the journey of key characters that fail to show respect to various deities within the Greek Pantheon. This disrespect, in all three plays, is met out with retaliation from the gods themselves, thus effecting those that disrespected them as well as their families. To convey these tales Euripides implements many themes, one such theme being divine retaliation. Euripides’ use of the theme of divine retaliation provides a stark illustration of the Greek Pantheon striving to prove their superiority relentlessly and gives insight into their merciless use of mortals as pawns to achieve this.
Euripides’ use of divine retaliation …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how euripides' plays hippolytus, the bacchae and iphigenia at aulis revolve around the journey of key characters that fail to show respect to various deities within the greek pantheon.
  • Analyzes how euripides' use of divine retaliation within hippolytus illustrates the transcendence of aphrodite over his rival.
  • Analyzes how euripides uses divine intervention in the bacchae to illustrate dionysus' retaliation against pentheus.
  • Analyzes how iphigenia at aulis tells of artemis' revenge upon agamemnon for disrespecting her, by creating conditions under which he must sacrifice his own daughter. although divine vengeance does not seem to be seen, it is still subtly evident.
  • Analyzes euripides' use of the theme of divine vengeance and the role of mortals within this theme.

During her speech, Aphrodite states her plan which inevitably comes true. She tells: “this young man, this enemy of mines, shall be driven to his death by his father’s curses: something made possible by the three wishes granted Theseus by Poseidon, king of the sea…I must exact from those who do me wrong.” (Hippolytus 49-50). Aphrodite’s desire to punish those who disrespect her without any care for the lives she destroys in the process, illustrates her apparent abuse of power. Her elaborate scheming which uses Theseus and Phaedra without their will in her expedition to obliterate Theseus, is careless in nature and extremely ungodlike. What Aphrodite believes is justice is more so a medium through which she is able to exert her power as a god and satisfy her ego …show more content…

Dionysus knows that due to being a foreign god, the Greeks do not accept him and are ignorant of his rank. Instead of taking this information into consideration, Dionysus instead decides to prove his superiority by destroying Pentheus for disrespecting him. He seethes stating that the “city has to learn…making mortal man endorse the fact that [He is] a god.” (The Bacchae 397). This blatant challenge to humankind conveys Dionysus’ desire to forcefully correct those who are ignorant of his reputation as a god and force their respect through fear and violence. This is further proven when he succeeds in his plan, by driving Agave to conduct sparagmos on her own son, and becomes distraught at losing their son. Although Agave is Dionysus’ follower, he gives her no mercy as Pentheus is her son and she must be punished as well. As Cadmus begs for mercy, Dionysus refuses to listen to his pleas and insists upon punishment. He tells Cadmus [that he] shall be changed into a snake, and [his] wife, Ares’ daughter…shall take reptilian shape as well.”(The Bacchae 453). Dionysus’ wishes to prove his nobility by punishing those he is nonetheless related to and having no mercy. Dionysus knew of Pentheus’ lack of respect for him and instead of proving himself, chose to create a wicked and sadistic plan in which he could prove to Pentheus his authority. Dionysus is seen using those near

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