The Bacchae Essay

The illusions conjured up in the theatre were themselves a crucial part of Dionysian worship, of altered perceptions, and crucially of , or 'standing outside yourself'.

The play was produced after his death by his son, perhaps in 405 BC, as the final part of a trilogy consisting of , along with a satyr play, which were awarded first prize at the ancient festival.In a play about the god of the Athenian theatre, it is not surprising that the role of performance in the theatrical experience and the question of stagecraft are central concerns.After his opening prologue, the god of theatre appears on his own stage, in costume and in disguise., is uniquely centred on Dionysus, the god of the Athenian theatre as well as one of the most intriguing deities in the ancient Greek pantheon.Throughout the play, which itself explains the establishment of Dionysus' cult in Greece, the tragedian includes many elements that were associated with the experience of participating in the god's cult.It is no surprise that this complex play, in which the paradoxical idea of a divine protagonist exacting vengeance upon his human relatives is paired with a larger meta-theatrical exploration of the general theatre-going experience, continues to fascinate modern audiences around the world.(© Dr Rosa Andújar) The survived relatively intact, but its focus on religion and the positioning of a god as a protagonist is almost unparalleled in the extant Euripidean corpus.The Dionysian force is perceived to be the foundational element of human existence and is something that one should never attempt to deny.The Bacchae, through such a reading, illustrates what happens when one attempts to resist this power.Dionysus is thus not only the play's protagonist, he is extraordinarily omnipresent in a drama that itself is a crucial celebration of his divinity.The gods were no strangers to the fifth-century Athenian stage: many of the surviving tragedies feature scenes with deities such as Poseidon, Athena, and Aphrodite, who typically appear at the beginning or end of a play, either delivering the opening prologue or providing closure ) building.

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