[Euripides] Ø Βάκχαι [young-adult PDF] Ebook Epub Download ☆ .
The Ancient Greeks had raves2 May 2013 We actually don t have a complete copy of this play though the edition that I read attempts to reconstruct the missing sections which is mostly at the end because, as they say, this is a popular play that is regularly performed This in itself is a strange statement since I have never seen it performed in fact I have only ever seen one Greek play performed, and that was Oedipus Tyrannous and that was by an amateur theatre group Mind you, Greek plays tend to be short, meaning that they last generally only as long as about a third of a Shakespeare play though when they were performed in ancient times, it would usually be along with three others plays The Bacchae is about change and about the resistance to change and how our attempts to resist change is generally futile Mind you it is a tragedy and it does have a pretty bloody ending in that a number of the main characters end up dead, though the progenitor of change, Dionysus, doesn t, but then again he is a god There are two things that do strike me about this play, the first being how there are reflections of Christianity in it, particularly early Christianity, and the second involves reflections of the modern rave culture However, before I go into exploring those two aspects of the play I should give a bit of a background so you may understand where I am coming from The cult of Dionysus was a rather new cult to appear in Ancient Greece, as far as the gods are concerned, and he was not one of the traditional gods of the pantheon He apparently was introduced through migrations from the north, particularly through Thrace The cult itself was a mystery cult, meaning that the rituals and celebrations tended to be conducted behind closed doors and this comes out in the Bacchae, particularly since the main worshippers were women The celebrations as also comes out in the Bacchae generally involved drunken revelries out in the bush The Bacchae itself is set in the mythical period of Ancient Greece in the city of Thebes The king of Thebes, Penthius, is concerned about this new cult that has appeared that is seducing all of the women into joining As such he goes out of his way to attempt to put an end to it, including arresting Dionysus It is interesting that Dionysus, unlike the gods in many of the other Greek plays, has a major role Most of the gods in Greek drama tend to only come in at the beginning or the end, either to provide an introduction, or to intervene in a hopeless situation However Dionysus is one of the major characters in this play Anyway Dionysius, in an attempt to defend his cult and one wonders if his portrayal here is similar to the charismatic cult leaders that we have seen throughout history convinces Pentheus to spy on one of the celebrations However, in a drunken haze, the women in the midst of their celebration mistake Pentheus for an mountain goat, capture him, and tear him to pieces However, the women do not get away scot free as they are exiled for, well, murder, despite their arguments that they were not in control of their faculties at the time The idea of the new cult is something that societies have faced throughout time, and it goes to show that the Roman persecution of Christianity is something that is not limited to that particular religion at that particular time It is interesting to note that in the play Pentheus does not believe that Dionysus is a god, despite certain actions such as blowing up his palace that suggest otherwise Further, the ignorance of the bacchic rites is also similar to Roman ignorance of certain Christian rites, such as the Lord s Supper Some have even suggested that Dionysus is a Christ figure, and the introduction to the play even has some similarities with the virgin birth For instance, Dionysus is born of a woman but has Zeus as his father though unlike Christianity, where the term conceived of the Holy Spirit does not indicate a sexual union between God and Mary, where it is clear from this play that there was a sexual union between Zeus and Dionysus mother, though this can be put down to our failure to understand, or accept, the possibility that conception can occur outside of sexual union, though these days this is changing More interesting is that Dionysus mother is accused of extra marital sex, which Mary also faced Another interesting note is that after Dionysus birth, Zeus hides him to protect him from being killed by a jealous Hera, which has reflections in the Christ story in that Jesus was spirited off to Egypt to protect himself from the murderous rampages of a jealous king Some might suggest that I am drawing some rather tenuous examples here, but I would argue otherwise One of the reasons is generally because of the fear of Christians to look outside the box We are than happy to accept the Bible, but to consider anything outside of that, particularly with regards to pagan representations or could they be prophecies of the Christ, can open up to many probabilities I guess it has to do with the conservative bent that most Christians have, in that what has been done over hundreds of years has proven itself and anything that is new can be dangerous or even destructive However, remember what Paul writes in the book of Thessalonians test everything, hold onto what is good, and reject what is bad He did not say reject everything but to test everything which includes age old traditions I want to finish off with a comment on the modern rave scene Okay, the idea of the outdoor rave out in the bush rose out of Britian where, in an attempt to stamp out drug use, the government made raves themselves illegal However, it could also be suggested that the reason the mystery cults of ancient Greece met out in the bush was because they were also illegal However particularly since I have been to raves myself there is something almost bacchic about the rave The idea of taking drugs to induce feelings of pleasure, as well as the lights and the sounds adding to that, reflects what was occurring here in the Bacchae In many cases, the rituals were sensual experiments in pleasure, which is similar to what happens at a rave This also goes to show that the rave is not something new, but something that has been going on for centuries.
Lately, I ve been reading a lot of Greek tragedy But when I attempt reviews, my tongue turns to ashes in my mouth It s not that they re too old I ve reviewed older books , nor because they re so foundational I ve reviewed equally fundamental books It s because I strongly suspect that I just don t get it It strikes me that the Greek tragedians were trying to accomplish something essentially different from what I ve come to expect from literature.
Greek tragedy has not even the slightest element of suspense When you read one of Shakespeare s tragedies, you know that it will end badly for the protagonist and at least a few other people otherwise it wouldn t be a tragedy But there always seems to be a glimmer of hope, a chance that it could ve turned out differently The tragic outcome hinges on the character of the tragic hero the final result is tragic because of that tantalizingwhat ifwhich lingers in the air as the curtain falls But in the plays of the Greek tragedians, the story is a fait accompli Everything happens because of the will of the gods, or the mysterious hand of fate Every character inexorably fulfills their destiny The only thing they can do, it seems, is to sing about how awful their situation is Thus we get line after line of the chorus interrupting the action like a song in a musical, telling the audience what they already know in sing song verse This isn t the fault of the playwrights Because hardly anybody can read Ancient Greek nowadays, we re forced to read the plays in translation and poetry is always sub par in translation Also, these chorus interludes actually did have music when they were performed so it s a bit unfair to judge them merely as poetry Imagine if archaeologists dug up a book of Beatles lyrics 2,000 years from now They would have no idea why the Beatles were such a hit Nietzsche thought this aspect of Greek tragedy was the root of its power In his first published work, The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche spills much ink in describing his love for the unbridled spirit of life in the music of the Greek tragic chorus For Nietzsche, the very fact that the music wasn t realistic that it didn t attempt to portray the facts of life is what gave it its tremendous power This is why Nietzsche thought that Euripides was decadent Euripides is distinguished from Aeschylus and Sophocles precisely for his realism His plays actually do have that element of unpredictability we ve come to expect from modern tragedy We don t feel that the action is foreordained that the people are merely acting out the decree of Fate When his characters give monologues, the poetry doesn t seem stylized or wooden like old song lyrics do Rather, Euripides seeks to portray the psychology of his protagonists as if they were real people the final result is like reading someone s thoughts than reading sing song poetry.
This is not to say that he didn t include mythological or fantastic elements Take this play For a completely illogical reason, the god Dionysus decides to wreak havoc in Thebes He doesn t do it for the sake of justice nor to accomplish some goal He does it, or less, on a whim This is what makes the action of the play so shocking It s as if the reader has been dropped in via helicopter down on some battlefield, and is forced to watch the senseless violence Nietzsche admired, almost worshiped, the Dionysian impulse the mad impulse to riot, to dance, to sing, to live He found in the character of Dionysus the solution to everything wrong with Christian morality and the scientific mentality Nietzsche believed that the drive to divide up the world into good and evil, and to value the literal truth above figurative myth, destroys man s ability to reach his highest potential But Euripides sees something much darker and devious in the character of Dionysus Euripides sees that, once morality and truth are abandoned, one is left only with naked power And naked power can be used just as easily for wanton destruction as for beneficent creation So it s hard for me to agree with Nietzsche and consider Euripides as a decadent playwright Every one of his plays I ve so far read has been a dramatic masterpiece and when you think about them, there s usually an intriguing lesson to be learned, a thought to be pondered Aeschylus and Sophocles remain partially veiled in translation their music, lost to time But now, I can at least say I ve found one Greek playwright I get.
Dionysus returns to the land of his birth, the city of Thebes, in disguise He is angry at the women of Thebes for denying him his rights of worship, and sends them all mad The women become his Bacchantes, and run off into the forest to revel in the rights of Dionysus They become drunk with wine and dance in wild displays of Dionysian rituals He is especially angry with the family of Cadmus and seeks their destruction.
The chaste and prudish King of Thebes, Pentheus, is furious when he returns to discover the women, including his mother, have gone off into the forest His grandfather Cadmus and the seer, Tiresius, also decide to join the women in the forest, wisely realizing the danger of going against the wishes of the Gods.
As an attempt at restoring order, Pentheus orders the destruction of Tiresius shrine and he has the disguised Dionysus imprisoned The women, however, he has not been able to overcome and after Dionysus also regains his freedom, the God convinces Pentheus to dress as a woman and enter the forest as one of the Bacchantes to go among them in disguise and find his mother and bring her back to the city.
After dressing as one of the female Bacchantes, Pentheus enters the forest and finds the women s dwelling place However, Dionysus achieves his ultimate revenge by driving the women in their madness to think that Pentheus is a wild beast The women, at Pentheus mother s insistence, fall upon Pentheus and tear him to pieces Agave, his mother, hods Pentheus head in her hands imagining it to be that of a wild beast and Dionysus revenge is complete.
After the dreadful act has taken place, Dionysus releases the women from their madness and Agave realizes that she has destroyed her own son Dionysus reveals himself as the God he is and tells the former Bacchantes that he had Pentheus killed because he refused to honor and worship him and thus put himself against the will of the gods.
Agave and Cadmus protest at the dreadful punishment bestowed on Pentheus and Cadmus family and they are sent into exile.
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O que a sabedoria Ou que d diva mais belados deuses, aos olhos dos homens, do que manter a m o segurasobre a cabe a do inimigoquando o inimigo poderoso, sabedoria ser dan ar com as Bacantes para n o se perder a cabe a Como a perdeu Penteu, cuja trag dia das mais terr veis da Mitologia Grega Morte de Penteu Fresco da Casa dos Vettii, em Pompeia Penteu, rei de Tebas e neto de Cadmo e Harmonia, quando Tir sias o avisa da chegada de um deus que ser a sua destrui o caso n o se submeta ao novo culto escarnece do vidente Penteu n o aceita que o seu povo idolatre um rapaz efeminado que diz ser filho de Zeus Todos o tentam chamar raz o, mas Penteu n o cede e manda prender Di nisos Iludido pelo deus, vai ao local de culto onde as Bacantes, enfeiti adas, o despeda am Agave, a m e de Penteu, que lhe arranca a cabe a exibindo a, triunfante, julgando tratar se de um le o Se tiv sseis sabido ter senso, o que n o quisestes, poder eis ser felizes, tendo por aliado o filho de Zeus.
Euripides Anne Carson Exquisite .
no, I don t know why Elvis s mugshot is on the cover either.
Dionysus is my favourite ancient Greek god Why Because he is the coolest, simple asHe is life s liberating force.
He is release of limbs and communion through dance.
He is laughter, and music in flutes He is repose from all cares he is sleepThe Young Bacchus by Caravaggio, 1595.
Not only is he the god of theatre a huge passion of mine but he is also the god of wine, festivals, ecstasy and madness Every set of self respecting Gods needs one like him on the team In a way he represents excess, the excess of human emotion and passion Every so often we all need a good binge of some sort and any god that denies our needs is a very poor god Dionysus gets it He understands And he is capable of great good and filling the needs of his subjects, but his whims can easily slip into darkness In this play he presents himself in a clam collective manner he does not really represent the aspects of human nature he is god of he merely facilitates them He gives man the opportunity to go too far it s up to him if he takes it and falls into complete intoxication And this bespeaks his enthralling power He is not controlling and does not tamper with free will, if his subjects worship him to heavily then it is of their own accord The Dionysian cult Euripides creates here is one completely necessary in the society of Ancient Greece He is the solution for the ongoing battle between freedom and restraint He suggests that the irrational and the indulgent are both necessary for society to function and develop Any society that denies these things will fall apart in misery So Dionysus is an important force, but one that should be taken is small measures So this is a good play, and it s completely character driven and loaded with this message supposedly as a learning tool It s real fun to read.
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