Ancient Myths: The Bacchae by Euripides

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In ancient myths it always seems that for the most part, mothers adore their male child and do not have the same importance for the female child. However, this is not the case for Agave, mother of Pentheus. In “Bacchae,” Agave is so caught up on a curse brought upon her by her nephew Dionysus that she completely loses sight of what is truly important, her son. In the end Agave ends up chopping the head off her own son, a twist to the everyday myth. In “Demeter and Persephone,” although Persephone is a female, it seems as though Demeter cares and protects her daughter more than Agave ever did for her "male" child. Agave doesn't even talk about her daughter Epirus; another hint of the importance of females in ancient myths. Unlike Agave, we have Frigg, from “Bacchae,” who goes to the end of the world like Demeter to make sure that they have done everything in their power to keep Balder and Persephone safe and out of harms way. Frigg, Balder's mother and Demeter, Persephone's mother, are both powerful mothers who stop at nothing to ensure the safety and protection of their children. They are to Balder and Persephone as a bear is to her cubs when someone messes with them. When it comes to being dedicated, loveable, and selfless, Demeter and Frigg are better mothers than Agave.
Had it not been for how Agave mistreated her sister, Semele, none of what happened to Pentheus would have happened. Because of Agave and her father, Semele was killed and Dionysus was left without a mother. Upon Dionysus return, Agave failed to acknowledge the divinity of her nephew because she did not believe that he was the son of Zeus. This infuriated Dionysus and he decided to take vengeance on his family to make them pay for what had happened to his mothe...

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...old Loki about it. Agave seemed to care, but in the end all that she cared about was her only. The fact that she lost her house and was vanished, seemed to be more important than the loss of her son; which, she got over rather quickly. Demeter goes against all odds to get her daughter back and is afraid to do nothing or face anyone that stands in her way. When it comes to being dedicated, loveable, and selfless, Demeter and Frigg are better mothers than Agave.

Works Cited

Euripides, and Paul Woodruff. Bacchae. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 1999. Print
Rosenberg, Donna. "Demeter and Persephone." World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Pub. Group, 1994. 14-20. Print.
Rosenberg, Donna. "The Death of Balder" World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Pub. Group, 1994. 218-223. Print.

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