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Quotes

Quote #7

Herdsman:
"After all this my lord,
whoever this city be you must receive him in our city.
He is powerful in many things." (119)

The Herdsman has witnessed the raw power of Dionysus and wisely advises Pentheus to pay honor to the god. Of course, the King refuses. We wonder what has turned Pentheus so steadfastly against Dionysus. Is it just that their philosophies of life are so different? Is Pentheus jealous that his cousin was born a god and not him?

Quote #8

Chorus:
"Slowly but surely divine
Power moves to annul
The brutally minded man
Who in his wild delusions refuses
To reverence the gods." (173)

A constant theme throughout Greek tragedy is the price men pay for blasphemy. In play after play, we see heroes and heroines punished for disrespect to the gods. It's interesting that the theme figured so prominently in this play by Euripides, who some scholars believe was an atheist.

Quote #9

Chorus:
"As to the rest, the sublime is simple and leads
To a beautiful life, […]
It sheds from it everything wrong
In pursuit of the right a
And homage to heaven." (212)

The Chorus sings a song of devotion to the divine. To them, the life they've chosen is the true path to the sublime. They've given up everything for their god, shedding everything in the name of Dionysus.

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