LLT 121.999 .......... Euripides Bacchae


1) Closely examine those passages which seem most clearly to reveal the characters of Dionysus and Pentheus.

Be able to point to key passages and interpret them.

.....a) How does Euripides present Dionysus -- as cruel or righteous?....... List the powers attributed to the god, his motives and intent toward Thebes and her people.

b) What redeeming traits if any, are portrayed in Pentheus?

2) What do the roles of secondary characters -- Cadmus, Teiresias, Agave -- contribute to our view of Dionysus and Pentheus?

3) Try to reconstruct what views Euripides anticipates in his audience.

This play is one of the few in which the chorus does not seem to represent a normative perspective. What characters, if any, seem to embody that normative voice of everyman and traditional belief?

Are there certain aspects of these characters that the ancient audience would evaluate differently than we do?... for instance, The cruelty of Dionysus?........ The Defiance and tyrannical methods of Pentheus?

4) Consider the moral lesson (or cynicism?) of the last scene (ca. 1200 to end), the horrible realization of Agave. What was the sin she committed, to bring on such suffering? Is the outcome presented as a just retribution? or cruel reprisal of vindictive god?

5) Compare the tragic figures of this play with those of Hippolytus and/or Prometheus Bound..... What features/flaws are similar?

Is there a common popular 'wisdom' illustrated in all three plays?