Role of the gods/ prophecy/ fate/ religion in the Bacchae

  • Created by: gsoning
  • Created on: 19-05-19 13:51
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  • The role of the gods/fate/ prophecy/ religion
    • Power and Personality of the gods
      • Do they have a moral high ground or does their behaviour resemble that  of humans?
        • (Cadmus, exodos): 'It is not right that the Gods should resemble mortals in their passions'
        • Dionysus defends his revenge by reminding Cadmus of his status
          • 'For I am a god, and I was insulted by you'
        • Maybe Euripides is asking his audience to question the nature of the gods...
        • Dionysus doesn't just want Pentheus dead, he wants him to be humiliated, perhaps highlighting his immaturity and presenting a vile aspect of the gods.
          • (Dionysus, 3rd episode): 'I want him to be laughed at by the Thebans as he is led through the city disguised as a woman.'
      • Dionysus  is 'most terrible, and yet most gentle to mankind'
    • Dionysus dictates the fate of the characters
      • Dionysus plans Pentheus' death and plans for the rest of the family to be exiled, with Cadmus and Harmony being turned into serpents
        • (Dionysus, exodos): 'My father Zeus agreed to this long ago'
          • were their fates already sealed?
        • (Dionysus re chorus 3rd episode): 'The man is moving into the net, and he will come to the bacchants, where he will be punished by death.
    • Tiresias plays the role of a seer, and prohecises that Pentheus should worship Dionysus.
      • 'I cannot begin to tell you how great he will be in Greece'
    • Dionysus displays his divine power, for good and for bad.
      • (on Cithaeron): 'the earth spread the light of divine fire'
      • 'from the upper air, a voice, Dionysus it seemed, cried out'
      • (3rd episode): 'It was at this time Bacchus came, and shook up the palace, and made fire blaze up on his mother's tomb.'
      • (Dionysus re Cadmus and Harmony, exodos): 'You will be turned into a serpent, and your wife will take the form of a snake'
    • Tiresias: 'We do not hold intellectual debates on the gods. No logic will overthrow the traditions we have received from our fathers.'
      • Reflects what is happening in Athenian society, the rise of sophistry.
        • Is this a message from Euripides for the audience?
    • Chorus of Bacchants
      • could be an example of acts involved in cult-like worship
        • dancing, singing, music, wine , nature
          • (Messenger): 'They are intoxicated by the wine-bowl and the sound of the flute.'
    • Gods disgusting themselves as mortals
      • Untitled

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