The Bacchae by Euripides

analytical Essay
837 words
837 words

One of the most well-known pieces of Greek tragedy is Euripides’s The Bacchae, a tale which chronicles the life and ultimate revenge that the Greek god Dionysus would take out upon his mortal family. Through this tale Dionysus can be viewed in multiple lights. He varied his appearance from that of a great leader, to that of a master of the great art of manipulation. With that said, no image was grander than how he showed that the great Greek gods are not known for being forgiving creatures. Dionysus proved this by being utterly brutal and relentless. With these actions, he showed that the gods should, in most cases, be well and truly feared for their potential retaliation and retribution.
Euripides’s The Bacchae tells the story of Dionysus, son of the Greek god Zeus and the mortal Shemele. Conceived through an illustrious affair between the two, things got complicated when Zeus’s second wife Hera found out. Hera set out to make her husband suffer; she came up with a devious plan, tricking Shemele into convincing Zeus into revealing his true form to her. Thus after initially saying no, Zeus is persuaded and eventually appears to Shemele in the form of a lighting bolt thus causing her to die seemingly instantaneously from his presence. Thankfully for Dionysus, at the very moment of her death, Zeus other son Hermes, whom he had conceived with the goddess Maia, saved his brother’s life by placing and sewing his sibling within his father thigh to protect him from the wrath of Hera until he was fully grown and ready to be born into the world. Unfortunately for Dionysus, his mother’s mortal family, whom he was returned to after his birth, did not believe in his true parentage. Believing “That Semele having slept with some man/ proceed...

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...on of drinking, and supporting of the self-indulgent urges that humans feel. With that said one of the biggest correlation and greatest differences is drawn between Dionysus’s actions towards Penteus and Jesus’s actions towards Pontius Pilate. While Jesus may have turned a blind eye towards his abuser, Dionysus sought out to make his cousin suffer, ultimately for something that he wasn’t even a part of. Dionysus throughout his cult enacted revenge. Instead of having followers that did so through their sheer belief in him, he used his powers of corruption to bend their will towards his way of thinking, and if they didn’t think in a similar vein he ended their life. He loved being the center of attention, and if he wasn’t, there was clearly a problem Dionysus proved that not all gods are nice, and that at the end of the day revenge is clearly a head best served cold.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how euripides' the bacchae chronicles the life and ultimate revenge that the greek god dionysus would take out upon his mortal family.
  • Analyzes how euripides' the bacchae tells the story of dionysus, son of the greek god zeus and the mortal shemele.
  • Describes how dionysus' cult's influence has become vastly powerful, and pentheus, the king of thebes, returned to the chaos that had begun ravaging throughout his land.
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