Society/ Politics in the Bacchae

  • Created by: gsoning
  • Created on: 19-05-19 13:22
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  • Society and Politics
    • An Athenian audience would have been anti-monarchy, so they wouldn't  have sympathised with Pentheus as he was a king
      • brings about the questions of whether Euripides wanted Pentheus to have sympathy. He evokes pathos through Pentheus' death, yet paints Pentheus as a tyrannical King in front of a Greek audience who were pro-democracy
      • Monarchy, King Pentheus of Thebes
        • 'excessively kinglike'
    • Sophistry was a heavily debated topic-the sophists gained a reputation as immoral
      • it was insulting to be called 'clever'
        • [Tiresias/ Cadmus to Pentheus]:  'There is no sense in your words'
    • Pentheus' actions could be seen as justified because he is a king of a society where women are protected/  surpressed
      • Possibly  an explantation for why Agave feels so strongly about being better than men in hunting and for leaving the palace for something better (Cithaeron)
        • (Exodus) Agave: 'I left the shuttles by my loom, and have come to something greater: hunting animals with my bare hands!'
        • (Exodus) Agave: 'I am overjoyed! Great, great deeds have I achieved, deeds that are clear in this prize.'
      • By sending the women to Cithaeron, Dionysus is upsetting the natural order of society as women have left their traditional roles
        • (first episode) Pentheus: 'I hear of the evil sin the city; that our women have abandoned their homes to take part in fake Bacchic revels .'
    • Theban society believed it was emasculating to worship Dionysus
      • (Cadmus, 1st episode): 'Are we the only men form the city who will dance for Bacchus?'
      • Pentheus is Xenophobic against Dionysus as he is from Persia, when men were considered very feminine
        • (Pentheus, 1st episode): 'They say a foreigner has come here, a magical enchanter from the land of Lydia, his blond hair smelling of perfume, his cheeks flushed, with the charm of Aphrodite in his eyes'
        • Does Dionysus represent a typical Persian/ is he therefore portrayed as an enemy of Athens?
          • Is he a threat to Thebans?
          • Greece and Persia were enemies


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