He and Pentheus meet and Dionysus asserts that Zeus and Semele were married and that their child was the god Dionysus, who is honored by the Bacchae. Pentheus refuses to believe it and professes his skepticism -- yet Dionysus inflames his curiosity and Pentheus admits to desiring to see the rites performed: he is like the unbeliever who asks to see a miracle, when the person with faith is content simply to practice and perform the religious rites of that faith. Dionysus thus aptly tells Pentheus that "a man of godless life is an abomination to the rites of the god" (Euripides 343; line 475).
Dionysus's words are proven true as Pentheus continues to insult Dionysus before having the "stranger" arrested and then unwittingly allowing himself to be guided by Dionysus to where the rites are performed -- only to be set atop a tree so that he might see…… [Read More]
However, Pentheus is a flawed king. He seems driven by inner needs and is fascinated as well as revolted by the changes Dionysus is bringing. He is easily swayed, and sees some aspects of the new religion as alluring as well as a threat to the status quo. Part of him wants a compromise so that the new religion will not completely fade away. He seems to find it a little titillating. This ambivalence results in a fatal weakness in Pentheus: while he logically knows that Dionysus is not bringing good changes to Thebes, like a person who is both horrified and fascinated by a train wreck and cannot look away, Pentheus studies Dionysus.
Dionysus sees this weakness of resolve in Pentheus, and has no trouble tricking him. As a god, he could change the apparent reality of things. In the process, he makes himself look even more powerful in…… [Read More]
It was an open protest based of selfishness and arrogance and it had no rational explanation. Pentheus is punished by death and dies from the hands of his mother who thought he was a wild beats. Such death is very symbolic as it outlines that the will of god is higher than love of mother to son and god's punishment has no mercy to sinners: "What is wisdom? Or what fairer gift from the gods in men's eyes than to hold the hand of power over the head of one's enemies? And 'what is fair is always followed"(Euripides, The Bacchae)
In the tragedy of Sophocles Antigone, another opposite case is presented as Antigone the niece of the king Creon demonstrates the actions which are worth admiration and respect. She neglects the order of the new king and buries her brother according to Greek customs. This deed is very symbolic as…… [Read More]
Aeneas' detachment differ from Rama's?
The French philosopher Simone Weil once wrote that, "There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too." In the Aeneid and Ramayana a central issue is how each text's protagonist detach themselves from the consequences of their actions. The greatest juxtaposition can be seen in how the two men respond to the decision to take decisive action. In the 4th book of the Aeneid, as Aeneas is preparing his fleet to set sail from Carthage in secret, Queen Dido, his lover, suspects his ploy and confronts him. In a rage, she insults him and accuses him of stealing her honor. Aeneas responds with fatalist detachment that, "I am seeking Italy not of my own accord." This quote suggests that Aeneas views his action and the incredible suffering he is causing…… [Read More]
Hubris is perhaps the greatest offense that could be given in ancient Greek society. Hubris means showing arrogance and a belief that a human being can challenge the power of the gods. Pentheus, by the standards of his society, has committed the greatest offense possible in Euripides’ Bacchae by attempting to ban the revels of Dionysius. This is not a privilege extended to him as an earthly ruler. Thus, according to the terms set by ancient Greek morality and religion, he deserves to die in the horrible way that he does, ripped to pieces by the gods’ followers, including his own mother (who does not recognize him in her ecstatic frenzy).
Of course, by modern standards of justice, Pentheus’ punishment is far too harsh. First of all, he is very young, and merely shows the arrogance of youth. Human beings do have the capacity to change. Secondly, although…… [Read More]
Initiation ites of the Cult of Bacchus
The wall painting of The Initiation ites of the Cult of Bacchus at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii (c. 60 BC) is a work of oman art that exemplifies the oman culture in the time just before Christ -- rich, ornate, elaborate, bordering on decadence, yet with still enough refinement to see a nobility and purpose in the spiritual life. Here, in the villa of a wealthy oman's vacation home near Mt. Vesuvius (which would fatally erupt just a century later, burying under ash and avalanche the wealthy in their very lap of luxury) can be seen the Greek influence on the oman culture.
The mural depicts a number of scenes in the ite of the Cult of Bacchus across three walls within a room of the Villa, near which was a wine press, used to make wine from the local…… [Read More]
" This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Passage Analysis- Acts 2:21-47 focuses on spreading the word of God and salvation, if one is worthy. The promise is that those who are faithful and spread the faith -- or follow hrist's example, are the faithful of the Lord, and thus deserving of a generalized conclusion of salvation. The story preceeds the rucifixion and takes place during the Pentecost festival. Scholars tend to agree that the 12 Apostles were together and that the plea was…… [Read More]
Euripides' tragedy of "Hippolytus":
Phaedra as a plaything of the gods
Euripides' tragedy of "Hippolytus" is a tragedy of paganism, at least on its surface. The work details the conflict between Hippolytus, the noble son of Theseus who honors the goddess of chastity and the hunt Artemis and his new stepmother Phaedra, who honors Aphrodite above all other goddesses. When Phaedra falls in love with Hippolytus he is repulsed not simply because of the incestuous nature of Phaedra's love but because it dishonors the principles of chastity embodied by his excessive worship of Artemis. The conflict between the two goddesses, translated into human terms, ultimately results in death and destruction for both Hippolytus and Artemis and the misery of Theseus, the father of Hippolytus and the husband of Phaedra. However, there is also a higher symbolic order beyond that a personal conflict between the gods that is being violated, one…… [Read More]
works of art speak to different people in different ways. Explore and explain which performances and which ideas from the course that you have seen and heard this semester have "spoken" with most impact…how and why?
Works that Speak to Me
The quote by poet Allen Ginsberg made a big impact on me. He says, "Whoever controls the language, the images, controls the race." (Maser 180). This means a lot to me because I am international student from Korea. I am trying to understand a new culture through its theater. Theater to me is like breath of fresh air when visiting other country like the United States because it gives culture and meaning to the world within it. The theater is a place where "language, images" are shown.
Everything on the stage has a meaning. It is there for reason. It serves a purpose. The lighting is put upon others…… [Read More]