The Bacchae Religion 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 a god of prophecies […]
He also has assumed some of Ares' duties
A regiment in arms, for instance" (22)
To the ancient Greeks, it was totally cool for gods to share duties. It seems that Dionysus is now influencing both prophecy, which was previously an Apollo thing, and war, which was mostly Ares's job before that.
"Rituals of possession of ? Of what particular form? […]
You make me want to hear." (42-46)
Pentheus seems really interested in the particulars of a religion that he claims is a load of garbage. Is he really as sure of the falseness of Dionysus as he says he is? In any case, it's this curiosity that eventually leads him to his grisly death.
"great lordly bulls,
one minute glaring in all the pride of their horns,
the next dragged to ground like carcasses
by the swarming hands of girls." (119)
One the symbols of Dionysus was the bull. Later in the play he even appears to Pentheus as one. Given that, it's interesting that it was also common for bulls to be sacrificed in his rituals.