'What do we learn about the character of Dionysus from the Bacchae?' (including plan)

Authors Avatar

‘What do we learn about the character of Dionysus from the Bacchae?’ (including plan)

Right from the start of the play Dionysus is shown as an important character; he opens the play and explains to the audience who he is. He explains that he is son of Semele and son of Zeus; he mentions his birth as well so immediately we are introduced to a god who is obviously powerful and important. He has come to initiate his worship in Thebes and we can see that he is a very determined character who will get what he wants

We can see by the way he wholeheartedly said he has driven his mother’s sisters mad that he is possibly a cruel and relentless god who punishes those who defy him and his worship, so we can see that he is on a mission to show punishment when he says “This city must earn its lesson”. We can see that already by the opening of the play he is a powerful and punishing god and therefore harsh. “I will lead my maenads into battle” shows he is willing to become aggressive if Thebes does not worship him.

Join now!

When he is brought in to talk to Pentheus he speaks completely in riddles which to the audience gives huge dramatic irony and it also shows he is clever by playing with words and he knows that Pentheus will not understand so he is humouring himself while Pentheus tries to figure out what he means, but as we can see everything Dionysus says, Pentheus so naively does not catch on.

He is manipulative and seems to thoroughly enjoy the fact that Pentheus is so confused, he plays with Pentheus’ head and makes him believe he sees a bull and the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay