The play was considered comic by the ancient Athenians because of its rhyming lyricism, its song and dance, its bawdy puns, but most of all because the notion and methods of female empowerment conceived in the play were perfectly ridiculous. Yet, as is the case in a number of Aristophanes’ plays, he has presented an intricate vision of genuine human crisis. In true, comic form Aristophanes superficially resolves the play’s conflicts celebrating the absurdity of dramatic communication. It is these loose threads that are most rife with tragedy for modern reader. By exploring an ancient perspective on female domesticity, male political and military power, rape, and efforts to maintain the integrity of the female body, we can liberate our modern dialogue.
As a ruler of the state one must be viewed as masculine and in control, however there are many examples in Euripides writing that leads one to believe deep inside he is not who he claims to be. One way in which this is evident during the play is that Pentheus is constantly negating his own viewpoints on masculinity and his outlook of women outwardly. However there are many actions he might not openly say that may lead one to believe he is confused about his gender identity. In the beginning of the play Pentheus criticizes the feminine appearance of Cadmus and Dionysus, however he finds himself dressed as a women and enjoyed it. Pentheus initially has a deep hatred for the women who abandoned their homes for the mountains to commit what he thinks are vile sex acts. Yet as the play progresses he becomes extremely curious about what the women on the mountainside are doing under Dionysus’ order and when the opportunity presents itself to spy on the women he is ecstatic. Pentheus makes it seem as if he needs to witness these women, not for the sake of the state, but for his personal voyeurism. His obsession with the women’s hidden behavior may reflect not sexual interest, but a desire to know more comprehensively a group with which he identifies himself as, but the social norms in society have restricted him from expressing. Between his
Dionysian was the primal aspect of reality, as well as raw nature, life and death, pleasure
Nothing bothered the Ancient Greeks more than chaos. Of this there is proof in the many artifacts recovered from Ancient Greek sites; their pottery, sculpture, architecture, and literature all convey the importance of balance and control to their society. "Medea," written by Euripedes, reveals this idea of the Greeks. The play illustrates many evils of the society: a civilian fighting against social morals, and, even worse, committing murder. More importantly, though, it proves though chaos and evil are powerful forces, "good" ones, balance and control, for example, will always prevail. In "Medea," the only way to achieve this peace is to remove the one who causes the chaos.
...ferent purpose. Despite the inherent loss of certain technical and emotional features of the play as a result of the translation, the fundamentally allegorical nature of the play to showcase the need for and to incite change remains. Euripides accomplishes this by way of presenting Medea, a foreigner, in conflict with predominantly accepted and praised figures in Ancient Greek society; namely royalty, men, and civilians, in order to provide transparency into the abuse of power, fallacy of male dominance, and social naivety in Ancient Greek society. In today’s context, the flaws of Ancient Greek society serve to remind us of our vulnerability to accept such fallacious social standards without thorough cogitation and questioning of whom they truly benefit, and as such, Euripides’ Medea remains one of the most prominent and socially relevant works in translation today.
In the Bacchae, Euripides questions the authority of god versus man and man's allegiance to the gods. Pentheus is caught in a unique struggle of maintaining authority in his own kingdom and keeping allegiance to his favored god Apollo. The appearance of Dionysus in Thebes raises a conflict for Pentheus in that he can not accept the authority of a god other than the one he has chosen to revere within his kingdom. Pentheus resists Dionysus supreme authority as a show of solidarity with Apollo and the laws of reason versus Dionysus and the disruption of civil order.
Originally, theatre in ancient Greece served solely to pay tribute to their gods. The Greeks would hold festivals where men would dress up and perform song and dance to honor Dionysus. These festivals eventually evolved into a competition where playwrights would compete against one another in regards to the superiority of their plays (this paralleled the competitive aspects of the Olympics). Emerging playwrights of this time took this competition quite seriously and began to focus their efforts on creating the ‘perfect formula’ for creating the finest tragic play (“Ancient Greek Theatre” Web). These playwrights also explored other ways to sway the audience in their favor including the incorporation of the more lighthearted performances being the comedies and satires. Th...
Kreon, with his enlightening realization and uncontrollable mishaps, possesses qualities that better represent a tragic figure. He also corresponds to more aspects of Aristotle’s tragic hero model than Antigone does: Kreon is of noble beginnings, is fated by the gods to suffering, faces misfortune from an error judgment or personality flaw, is pitied by the audience, is enlightened or changed, and becomes a vessel for the audience’s catharsis. In the end, tragedies are essentially plays in honor of Dionysus. Through Kreon’s experiences in the play, the audience is reminded of their place in relation to the gods. Just as with every other aspect of Greek culture, religion plays a fundamental role in dictating the Greeks’ interpretation and
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.
In Euripides’ The Bacchae and in the Medea, there are significant binary oppositions in both plays. Binary opposition is the two opposite terms, such as good versus bad. Binary opposition is used to present both sides of a contrast (Marvin, 1). In The Bacchae and the Medea, Euripides used binary opposition to highlight the central themes. The significant binary oppositions that are used are men versus women, foreigner versus citizen, and god versus man.
Aristophanes, although he wrote in 420 BC, parallels much of Greek society with that of today's. He disrupts the audiences' comfort thro...
I decided to analyze the similarities and differences between the two gods: Zeus and his son Dionysus. Even though Dionysus is of the same lineage of Zeus, this does not mean they share all of the same characteristics of one another. They differ greatly in attitude, appearance and morals. Zeus is considered the king of all gods, and he proudly uses his powers for his own amusement and pleasure, often at the expense of others lives. Whereas, Dionysus is the god of wine and fertility and he uses his powers to bring both pleasure and an escape from the grief that plagues ones mind but this can come at a cost leading the consumer to become unpredictable and easily influenced through overindulgence and addiction.
Throughout a person’s life, one goes through the process of rebellion. In the play Medea, a work in translation by Euripides, mythology is symbolic of rebellion. This statement will be proven through the analysis of mythology as fully symbolic of suppression. It will also be proven through an analysis of the world around the character Medea and analysis of Medea’s actions.
Euripides’ The Bacchae is a play about the cult of Dionysus, and more specifically about what happened to the city of Thebes after the king, Pentheus, prohibited the worship of Dionysus. The play begins with a lengthy monologue from Dionysus, in which he describes his birth, and journey throughout the East. As the first character to appear in the play, he also explains the reasons why future events will take place. He describes the actions of his mother’s sisters, his aunts, and the actions of the king, Pentheus. Dionysus is a vengeful god, and the message that this play sends to the audience is that “When insulted, gods do not forgive” (line 1818).