Femininity In The Bacchae

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Greek Mythology is notoriously anti-female revolution. From Aeschylus’s depiction of Clytemnestra’s thirst for power to one’s own Euripides’ depiction of Medea’s rampage of revenge, Greek mythology is terrified of powerful women. The Bacchae by Euripides makes no exception and continues stifling female empowerment; however, Euripides adds his own unique spin on terrifying female depiction. Instead of just representing women in power as monsters to fear, he instead blames femininity as the culprit. He uses the Bacchae, Dionysus, and Pentheus as examples of the danger in accessing one’s own femininity. The Bacchae’s own control of their sexuality, as Pentheus describes “They creep off one by one to lonely spots to have sex with men”, and their feminine features, as their breasts swell and their hair cascades, creates an example of women gone wild with power over themselves…show more content…
In a monologue by The Messenger, the women are described as absolutely beautiful and in complete control of their own femininity just to later be depicted as murderous monsters who ripped apart the limbs of a calf. This juxtaposition between female beauty and violence makes Euripides’ message to the audience overtly clear - women in control of their own femininity will eventually become violent. The Messenger starts off by describing these women as unassuming, stating “They were all asleep, bodies quite relaxed, resting on the ground—in all modesty. They weren 't as you described— all drunk on wine or on the music of their flutes” (13-4). Women are not always obviously dangerous, Euripides says. Sometimes, the women in one’s life may seem unassuming and gentle. However, these are the most dangerous. They are the one who attempt to manipulate their men and are the greatest at receiving the freedom that is so hazardous. The Messenger then goes on to describe their extravagant

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