It has been suggested that Euripides wished, in his old age, to reconcile himself to his countrymen, and to atone for his previous attacks on their religious beliefs. The play attempts to answer the question of whether there can be a space for the irrational within a well-structured and ordered space, either interior or exterior, and it depicts a struggle to the death between the forces of control (restraint) and freedom (release). What are the names for the king of the Underworld? they are turned into serpents What is the meaning of "hierophant"? The prudent old counsellor, Cadmus, advises caution and submission, believing that it is perhaps better to pretend to believe and to practice a “useful falsehood” even if Dionysus is not a real god. Causing Agave to rip her son Pentheus's head off? © 2020 Shmoop University Inc | All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal. Agave doesn't seem to be sorry at all, she's just mad the whole thing happened.The only person who says he's in the wrong at the end is Cadmus. Who are born from the immortal egg of Leda?

Euripides had an enduring fascination with woman and their social position, and pointed out in this play (and in several others) how implicit and entrenched the oppression of women was in Greek civilization. Dionysus set out to show everybody who's boss and that's just what he's done.

At the end of the play, he's completely unrepentant.You do see a bit of an anagnorisis with Agave. He's happy as a bug in a rug about the horror he's caused.

He sees the women’s divinely-caused insanity merely as drunken cavorting and an illicit attempt to escape the mores and legal codes regulating Theban society. Who requested burial from Odysseus in the Underworld? So, let's get this straight – the only one who's sorry at the end of the play didn't really do anything wrong, but is punished anyway. What is the last stage of the mysteries of Demeter? The old men of the city, like Semele‘s father Cadmus and the old blind seer Tiresias, although not themselves under the same spell as the Theban women, have nevertheless become enthusiastic devotees of the Bacchic rituals. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Harmonia is Cadmus ’ wife.

However, it is likely that the play was written after his final departure from Athens, and it is anyway doubtful whether the religious jibes of his previous works had given much offence to the majority of his countrymen. Who was the child that Demeter tried to immortalize? The ending of The Bacchae is remarkable because nobody learns anything. ... Agave doesn't seem to be sorry at all, she's just mad the whole thing happened. With what figures is Dionysus usually linked? What mystery cult was a major rival to Christianity?

Disguise and deception propel the plot of The Bacchae. Instant downloads of all 1372 LitChart PDFs Who died in grief, longing for Odysseus' return? Who does Aeneas need to speak with in the Underworld? The story is based on the myth of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agave, who are punished by the god Dionysus (also known to the Greeks as Bacchus) for refusing to worship him. A person especially a priest in Ancient Greece who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric. Harmonia then asked for the same fate as her husband, and it was also granted. He's happy as a bug in a rug about the horror he's caused. Cadmus and Harmonia had a number of children; they were Ino, Polydorus, Autonoe, Agave, Semele and Illyrius. In what encounter does Odysseus lose all his remaining comrades? This is Greek for a moment of realization or recognition. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. A job well done. I think Cadmus was just an innocent bystander who was caught up in punishment of the whole city of Thebes. The Bacchae Summary. Whose death becomes the central part of the Trojan Women of Euripides?

What Greek is left behind to persuade the Trojans to open their gates to the Horse? If you listen to Aristotle, tragedies are supposed to end with the hero having an anagnorisis. Dionysus has destroyed us all. Instead she says, "Let others meddle with Bacchants" (332). "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." And here's another miracle! Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Did everybody just forget the scene where Cadmus and Tiresias set off to dance in the mountains dressed up in fawn skins? -Graham S. The timeline below shows where the character Harmonia appears in.

According another tradition, who is often cited as Odysseus' father? But this attitude just didn't seem to compute with Aristotle's ideas of the universe. This is pretty ironic, because Cadmus was the only one in the family who willingly worshiped Dionysus. Instead Euripides often presents the tragedy of all humankind, being trapped in a harsh, chaotic, and unsympathetic universe. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Being a god, however, Dionysus is quickly able to break free, and promptly razes Pentheus’ palace to the ground in a giant earthquake and fire. At the end of the play, Cadmus heartbreakingly reveals to Agave that she has killed her own son, and tries to piece together Pentheus’ severed body parts.

What is the Greek word for "sacred objects"? According to one version of the story, what hero, because of a poorly phrased oath, sacrificed his son to Poseidon on his return home? To some extent, the character of Dionysus himself effectively stage-directs the play, and emulates the author, costume designer, choreographer and artistic director of the play. Although Pentheus begins as an external spectator and onlooker, viewing the Bacchic rites with a removed and disapproving gaze, he jumps at the chance offered by Dionysus to move from the margins to centre stage of the drama. Entrance of Second Messenger to the end of the play (Lines 1025-1394):. In The Bacchae, written by Euripides, Tiresias serves a few different roles. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. Who is the bard that sings at the court of the Phaeacians? Awesome. The old man pleads with Dionysus saying, "Have mercy, Dionysus, we have sinned" (311). With whom does Telemachus strike up an important companionship when he reaches Nestor's kingdom? With what region is Orpheus often associated?

Who wrote the compilation of the mythology of Dionysus entitled the Dionysiaca? ... What is the ultimate fate of Cadmus and Harmonia?

Which are the names for the son of Zeus and Semele? Awesome. The play begins with a prologue by the young god Dionysus, who explains the complicated circumstances of his birth. Whose rites were associated with the island of Samothrace? When Dionysus tells her she's banished she complains the god is "merciless" (313). By the end, even the Bacchantes of the Chorus pity the victims of Dionysus‘ over-harsh revenge, and look on Agave and Cadmus with compassion. What is the meaning of this, Euripides?It's really no wonder that, in his Poetics, Aristotle talked a lot of smack about Euripides. Dionysus offers his worshippers the freedom to be someone other than themselves and, in doing so, the chance to achieve a religious ecstasy through theatre itself. Who violates Cassandra and is punished by Athena? CADMUSAre we the only men who'll dance for Dionysus?TIRESIASThe rest are blind. What practice is Orpheus credited with originating among his people after his unsuccessful attempt to rescue his wife? Indeed, no play seems to have been more popular in the ancient theatre, or to have been more frequently quoted and imitated.

The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. The lack of any true anagnorisis in the conclusion of The Bacchae highlights their stark differences. Who is the deformed soldier who speaks against Agmemnon and is soundly thrashed by Odysseus? The old man pleads with Dionysus saying, "Have mercy, Dionysus, we have sinned" (311). Who was the king who hired Apollo and Poseidon to build the walls of Troy, but later reneged on his payment? At the moment of her death, however, Zeus saved the unborn Dionysus, hiding it from Hera by sewing the foetus up in his own thigh until it was ready to be born. The thing is it doesn't really count because Dionysus is the one that took over her mind and made her do it.

In what work is the Myth of Er recounted? Who carried the bow of Heracles, without the aid of which Troy could not fall?

In a tradition not related by Homer, how does Odysseus eventually die? Similarly, all the main characters command a different form of wisdom, but each with its own set of limitations.

English translation (Internet Classics Archive): Greek version with word-by-word translation (Perseus Project): Passer, deliciae meae puellae (Catullus 2), Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus (Catullus 5), Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire (Catullus 8),, LitCharts Teacher Editions.

What does Demeter do when she returns to the halls of Olympus, her anger unabated? By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our.

Abdicate the Throne: Cadmus gave over the rule of Thebes to young Pentheus, his grandchild. What is the first image we see of Odysseus in the Odyssey? Who resisted the god Dionysus? Dionysus finally appears in his true form, and sends Agave and her sisters into exile, the family now all but destroyed.

The ending of The Bacchae is remarkable because nobody learns anything.

Causing Agave to rip her son Pentheus's head off? Making all the ladies of Thebes go crazy and dismember cattle? With whom does Odysseus spend seven of the ten years?

Agave doesn't seem to be sorry at all, she's just mad the whole thing happened.The only person who says he's in the wrong at the end is Cadmus.

Still not satisfied, though, Dionysus chastises the family one more time for their impiety and, in a final act of revenge, turns Cadmus and his wife Harmonia into snakes. The idealistic young King Pentheus (Agave’s son and Dionysus‘ cousin, who has recently taken over the throne from his grandfather, Cadmus) scolds them harshly and effectively bans Dionysian worship, ordering his soldiers to arrest anyone else found engaging in the rites.

At the top of the play, the god Dionysus prances out and tells us he's in disguise as the mortal form of the Stranger. The play exemplifies Greek xenophobia and chauvinism, and Pentheus repeatedly insults the disguised Dionysus as “some Asian foreigner”, “too womanish to be a proper man”, bringing his “filthy foreign practices” to Thebes. But, as Dionysus‘ possession begins to wear off, Agave slowly realizes with horror what she has done. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The character of Dionysus himself, in the prologue to the play, highlights the perceived invasion of Greece by Asian religions. CADMUS Daughter, to what an awful pass are we now come, thou too, poor child, and thy sisters, while I alas! When Dionysus tells her she's banished she complains the god is "merciless" (313).

Masks and disguises, with all their symbolism, are essential elements in the play.

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