Mind Map of The Bacchae

The Bacchae
Overview
Main characters
Themes
Though he was conceived from a mortal woman and the god Zeus, Dionysus's relatives disbelieve his divinity. Then Dionysus, the god of wine, shows up in Thebes. His cousin King Pentheus has outlawed worship in Thebes, so Dionysus uses his divine powers to prove a gruesome point.
Dionysus arrives in Therbes
Dionysus's presence drives the Theban women to a state of frenzy and madness.
Dionysus tricks Pentheus
Dionysus destroys the palace and leads unsuspecting Pentheus to Mount Cithaeron.
Maenads murder Pentheus
The frenzied Maenads mistake Pentheus for a wild lion and tear him apart.
Dionysus
God of wine and theater; avenges himself on relatives for not believing in him
Pentheus
Authoritarian king of Thebes; secretly curious about Dionysian religion
Agave
Pentheus's mother; becomes a Maenad under Dionysus's spell and kills her son
Chorus
Bacchae; Dionysus's frenzied followers who worship him with secret rituals
Social Order
When social norms are flouted, societal fabric unravels.
religious Beliefs
Opposing religious views cause strife over the "right beliefs."
Duality
People's dual natures contain rationality and primal instincts.
Author
EURIPIDES c. 485-406 BCE
Euripides left behind a large body of work, including at least 18 plays. Influenced by Socrates and the philosophers called Sophists, Euripides was an iconoclast and innovator. The Bacchae reflects his critical mind and shows his concern with taking life to extremes rather than keeping it in balance.
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