Love and the pursuit of sexual relationships is often the main dispute in Greek and Roman mythology, and that is no different in the Bacchae. Pentheus has an over the top obsession with masculinity and sex and Euripides makes it obvious from the very beginning of this play. While these are two characteristics that one would tend to think would refute someone being transgender, however the over exaggeration of masculinity may be used as a cover up. An example of this is apparent in Pentheus’ opening lines of the play when he is describing the appearance...
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... comfort level suggests that he may identify himself with women, yet is fearful to admit it due to the societies social norms.
After a closer examination of Euripedes writing in the Bacchae it becomes ever so apparent that Pentheus is struggling with gender identity issues. It is first apparent that he may be attracted to the opposite sex through his interactions with Dionysus, where he often admires his beauty. Also his failure to truthfully express his own beliefs without negating himself due to social norms displays confusion on his identity. However Pentheus’ comfort level and curiosity to spy on the women in the mountains while dressed as one depicts that he may be transgender. After a closer examination on Pentheus in the Bacchae it is evident that he may be transgender, yet fails to truthfully announce it due to the social norms in Greek and Roman society.
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