We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.