The Bacchae Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Paul Roche's translation.
"He [Dionysus] is was who turned the grape into a flowing draft
and proffered it to mortals;
so when they fill themselves with liquid vine
they put an end to grief." (22)
Interesting fact: wine is a foreigner to Europe. That seems strange, right? Europe is famous for its many different kinds of wine. It is a fact, though, that the grape is not a native fruit to Europe. It came from Asia way back in the day. The Bacchae is, in part, a celebration of that highly successful foreigner invasion.
"Foreigners have much less sense than Greeks." (54)
Pentheus here exhibits a common attitude in ancient Greece. He pretty much thinks Greeks are the smartest, most civilized people on Earth. We can't be too hard on him, though. We have a feeling that the people on the other side of the sea feel the same way about themselves, and think the Greeks are backwards and uncivilized. Suspicion of foreigners and the unknown in general is a pretty common human trait.
"Oh, let me shout my song in foreign tunes:
a foreigner who need no longer tremble in fear of fetters." (220)
Now that Pentheus has been killed, the Chorus need no longer fear his persecution. Their foreign religion has conquered the over the stubborn Greek King.