The Bacchae Transformation 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.
"They carried fire on their flowing heads and it did not burn them.[…]
spearpoints drew no blood" (119)
The Maenads now seem to have undergone an even greater transformation. They started out as mild-mannered housewives. Then they were crazed worshipers. Now Dionysus has turned them into warrior women of almost god-like powers.
"We'll go inside and I'll dress you up myself."
"What kind of dress? A female's?" (152-153)
Dionysus's makeover session with King Pentheus is yet another example of transformation in The Bacchae. This one is pretty ironic to say the least. Just a little while ago Pentheus was busting on Dionysus for looking effeminate, now the King is the dressing like a woman.
"A thyrsus in your [Pentheus'] hand, and a spotted fawn skin on." (160)
Not only is Dionysus making Pentheus over as a woman, he's also dressing him up like a Bacchant. The thyrsus, an ivy covered staff, and fawn skin are key pieces to the uniform of your average worshiper of Dionysus. This part of the transformation is just as ironic women's clothing, as Pentheus has done nothing but resist and deny the spreading religion of Dionysus.