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The Bacchae

The Bacchae


by Euripides

Dionysus Timeline and Summary

  • Appears in Thebes disguised as the mortal, Stranger.
  • Monologues about the history of his birth.
  • Informs us that he's come from Asia to spread his religion.
  • Says that he's possessed the women of Thebes to punish them for blasphemy.
  • Lets himself be arrested by Pentheus.
  • Summons lightning and earthquakes to smash his jail.
  • Teases his followers for doubting him.
  • Convinces Pentheus that he must dress up in women's clothing to observe the Maenads.
  • Beguiles Pentheus so that the King can see his bull form.
  • Leads the cross-dressed Pentheus through Thebes to humiliate him.
  • Takes Pentheus out to spy on the Maenads.
  • Helps Pentheus climb to the top of a pine tree.
  • Illuminates the sky so that Pentheus is exposed.
  • Orders the Maenads to rip Pentheus apart.
  • Shows up in all his godly glory.
  • Curses Cadmus to lead barbarian hordes in the form of a snake.
  • Banishes Agave from Thebes.
  • Chastises them both for not worshipping him to begin with.