Essay on The Eumenides versus the Bacchae

Essay on The Eumenides versus the Bacchae

Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The conflict between the rational and the irrational is present in every person or situation. In Greek tragedies, this conflict is constantly present within the characters’ actions and decisions. Usually, there is always one character that will act rationally compared to the others and would try to fix the conflict. Both The Eumenides and The Bacchae depict the conflict between the rational and the irrational, yet the act and solution are presented differently. Whereas The Eumenides portrays it through killing the family by committing matricide and homicide, The Bacchae portrays it through killing the family by committing unconscious homicide driven by the desire of the forbidden.

The most powerful characters in The Eumenides, starting with the Furies, everything about them has a meaning. The Furies think of Orestes as an awful person, and are determined to capture Orestes for committing matricide. They do not symbolize peace, but revenge; they represent the application of the law without any further understanding. The Furies demonstrate this at the end of the play, in which they conform with a gift from Athena in order to stop arguing of what the solution turned out to be. Apollo is another important character who symbolizes revenge as well as order. By commanding Orestes to kill his mother or suffer the consequences, Apollo symbolizes the desire for revenge and order of rights. He believes that avenging the death of the king (Orestes’ father) and placing Orestes as the lawful heir to the throne is the right thing to do. As it has tradition to hand down the throne to the son rather than the wife when a king passes, Apollo wants to impose that order. He does not let Clytaemestra rule, for a queen who murders her husband and sends...


... middle of paper ...


...th Semele, leading to Dionysus’s desire for revenge that resembles Clytaemestra’s motives. He wants his mother’s family to pay off their debts, making women get so drunk unconsciously and later tricking Pentheus to go see the forbidden. In this tragedy Euripides aspires to demonstrate how even desiring to see the forbidden can deceive the most rational man. Both the rational and irrational plays a part in every person’s decision; it is how one decides to act upon a situation and demonstrate towards which side he or she tends to favor. Whether it is like Pentheus, a rational man deceived by his “inner Dionysus” commits an irrational act that took his life away, or like Athena, who introduces a neutral trial that rationally decides the consequences and gravity of the conflict when everyone that when a conflict arises and neither side sees eye to eye, there should be.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dionysus and the Unraveling of Ideologies in The Bacchae Essay

- Dionysus and the Unraveling of Ideologies in The Bacchae   Some evaluations claim that the Dionysus appearing in The Bacchae is fairly true embodiment of the ideals of ancient Athens. He demands only worship and proper reverence for his name, two matters of honor that pervaded both the Greek tragedies and the pious society that viewed them. In other plays, Oedipus' consultations with Apollo and the many Choral appeals to Zeus reveal the Athenian respect for their gods, while Electra's need for revenge and Antigone's obligation to bury Polyneices both epitomize the themes of respect and dignity....   [tags: Bacchae Essays]

Strong Essays
1916 words (5.5 pages)

Repression of Women in Euripides' The Bacchae Essay

- Repression of Women in Euripides' The Bacchae      Many different interpretations can be derived from themes in Euripides's The Bacchae, most of which assume that, in order to punish the women of Thebes for their impudence, the god Dionysus drove them mad. However, there is evidence to believe that another factor played into this confrontation. Because of the trend of male dominance in Greek society, women suffered in oppression and bore a social stigma which led to their own vulnerability in becoming Dionysus's target....   [tags: Feminism Women Criticism Bacchae Essays]

Strong Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Essay Public Validation of Gender in Euripides’ "The Bacchae"

- This distinction between men and women is emphasized in Euripides’ The Bacchae. It is the women, and not the men, who are allured to follow Dionysus and practice his rituals: dancing, drinking, etc. It is seen as problematic to Pentheus and something must be done: “Women are laving home / to follow Bacchus, they say, to honor him in sacred rites. / Our women run wild upon the wooded hills, dancing to honor this new God, Bacchus, whoever he is” (215-218). There is a sense of lost, a need to retrieve the women, and return them to their place....   [tags: Euripides, Bacchae, gender, sociology,]

Strong Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)

Sexist Views in The Bacchae Essay

- Sexist Views in The Bacchae Throughout my life, I've heard the phrases, "Women shouldn't serve in the Armed Forces; no, I wouldn't want a female president; a woman's place is in the home." Even though our society is drifting from these extremely sexist views, opinions like these are still widely held. Women were mistreated much the same in the ancient Greek civilizations. The views of our society, regarding the social and sexual roles of women, are mirrored in the ancient Greek tragedy, The Bacchae....   [tags: Bacchae Essays]

Free Essays
514 words (1.5 pages)

Essay about Otherness in Euripides' Bacchae and Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides

- Otherness in Euripides'Bacchae and Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides   Both Euripides and Wole Soyinka are focused on a fundamental ethical imperative in their plays: welcome the stranger into your midst. Acceptance of Dionysus as a god, as "an essence that will not exclude or be excluded", is stressed (Soyinka 1). Pentheus is punished severely for excluding, for refusing to acknowledge or submit to, Dionysus' divine authority. In order to carve out a place for himself (in the pantheon, in the minds of the people), Dionysus' divinity manifests itself in an overtly political manner: its effect on those who worship him....   [tags: Euripides Bacchae Essays]

Strong Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

Comparison Between The Bacchae and The Medea Essay

- 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. The contrast between men versus women is an important opposition in both plays....   [tags: binary opposition, euripides, greek society]

Strong Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Sophocles´ Antigone and Euripides´ The Bacchae Essay example

- Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ The Bacchae are indubitably plays of antitheses and conflicts, and this condition is personified in the manifestation of their characters, each completely opposed to the other. Both tragedians reveal tensions between two permanent and irreconcilable moral codes; divine law represented by Antigone and Dionysus and human law represented by Creon and Pentheus. The central purpose is evidently the association of law which has its consent in political authority and the law which has its consent in the private conscience, the association of obligations imposed on human beings as citizens and members of state, and the obligations imposed on them in the home as mem...   [tags: conflicts, divine law, nature law]

Strong Essays
1058 words (3 pages)

Essay on Pages 20 through 25 of Bacchae by Euripides

- Pages 20 through 25 of Bacchae by Euripides The reason that Bacchae by Euripides was chosen as a set text to be examined on is because it is a classic ancient Greek performance. It offers us a look at how the Greeks lived in a completely different culture to ours. It also shows us how important religion was to them and how they worshipped different gods to us; it is very interesting because this is how theatre started off in ancient Greece. From choosing a piece of drama this old, we can see how our theatre today has developed from previous ideas and techniques....   [tags: Bacchae Euripides Greek Plays Essays]

Free Essays
1580 words (4.5 pages)

Euripides ' The Bacchae ' Essay

- The Bacchae, is a late tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides, and it is considered one of his best works and one of the greatest of all Greek tragedies. It was written around 410 BCE, but it only premiered after his death at the City Dionysia festival of 405 BCE, where it won first prize (Euripides). The story is based on the myth of King Pentheus of Thebes, who are punished by the god Dionysus for refusing to worship him, and his mother, one of the women worshippers. Euripides had a unique versatility, this characteristic is reflected in his play The Bacchae where he offers an innovative outlook on women and their roles in Greek mythology....   [tags: Tragedy, Euripides, Dionysus, Dionysia]

Strong Essays
803 words (2.3 pages)

The Bacchae Essay

- In The Bacchae, Euripedes portrays the character of Pentheus as an ignorant, stubborn, and arrogant ruler. These character flaws accompanied with his foolish decisions set the stage for his tragic downfall. Pentheus' blatant disregard to all warnings and incidents, which prove that Dionysus is truly a god, lead him to his own death. In the end, his mistakes are unforgiving and his punishment is just. Throughout the play, the audience cannot help but feel merciless towards Pentheus. In his opening scene, Pentheus does not heed the warnings bestowed upon him by Teiresias and Cadmus....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1036 words (3 pages)