Dionysos In Euripides's Bacchae

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The character of Dionysos assumes itself in many ways throughout Euripides’ Bacchae, the god’s actions and intentions within the text are open to interpretation, due to the tragic nature of the play. Dionysos can be understood as a psychological force within the work but he is, to a greater degree, better understood to be a petty and vindictive god when considering the nature of his relationships to humans in the play. The Bacchae is commentary on this very topic as Gods play cosmic forces in the realm of men and thus interact with mortals. The relationship between Dionysos and humans in the play shows evidence of his vindictive behaviour and its effect. This is seen in instances in the play where Dionysos plays with the mind of Pentheus, lacks compassion, does not allow his victims to repent, and ultimately divorces himself from his morality. The Bacchae begins with Dionysos presenting his business in Thebes, posing as a mortal priest of the Bacchae, “For Thebes must fully…show more content…
When he is being assaulted by the Bacchants Pentheus cries out to his mother “Have pity on me, mother! Don’t kill me for my wrongdoing” . If Dionysos’ intention was to make Pentheus see his own ways then removing his mother from under his spell would have sufficed. The family would have seen the capabilities of the god and worshipped him justly yet, Dionysos continues to allow Agave to murder Pentheus. In the end the family understand the consequences “Now we see, but you are too hard on us ” Making this violence unjustified as his initial intent was to make them learn of his power and then to take violent action if they do not learn. He contradicts his own approach by not showing Pentheus the right way before he acts in a more rational
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