Pentheus And Bacqueur Gender Analysis

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Undeniably, women have been subjugated under men’s relentless, patriarchal control in both political and cultural spheres of society throughout history. Attributed to stubborn male social ideologies, patriarchal constructed superiority has advocated and maintained unequal and unfair sex and gender boundaries. According to Thomas Lacqueur, our social gender structures are based on “a continuum, with perfect maleness at one end and imperfect, defective, or defective maleness (what we might call “femaleness”) at the other” (What is Christian, 26). To break these evident, unequal boundaries between men and women Lacqueur suggest manipulating perceived patriarchal ideologies by exploring “sex differences and the gendered characteristics accompanying…show more content…
This shift, exemplified through the “movement” or manipulation of Pentheus and Augue’s gender, renders the breaking of such boundaries. Despite the story’s focus on the conflict between Dionysus and Pentheus, the fundamental meaning lies within the characteristics and actions Pentheus, king of Thebes and his mother Augue, a maenad. Each in their own unique way symbolize the inequality between men and women. Pentheus symbolizes male dominance and control over women through his power as king. His frustration and attempt to regain power over the women in the wild represents patriarchal society’s disapproval and attempt to stop women from gaining proper rights and restructuring the control of power. Moreover, his futile attempts of stopping the maenads shows the false realities of patriarchal societies. In Pentheus’ eyes, “the violence of these bacchants now blazes at our doors like a fire: it shames us greatly in the eyes of Hellas (Bacchae,…show more content…
Through the special powers given by Dionysus the women thrive and transformer into strong hunters. They are a blatant indication of Pentheus’ lack of power and control over society. Capable of ravage damage and destruction, the maenads display a suppressed side of women. Their power outside the confines of society display women’s true potential beyond misogynistic boundaries. Although the women are compelled against their will through the power of Dionysus, their actions are a threat to political and patriarchal power. As the maenads continue to challenge Pentheus’ power and Pentheus tries to stop the “obscene disorder,” each action moves each character further along the continuum. The women transform from society’s conventional perception of women to hunters and killers. Ultimately the maenads emasculates their image and Pentheus moves closer to
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