Essay Analysis Of ' The Bacchae '

1338 Words Nov 18th, 2016 6 Pages
In society, there are often figures that maintain a god-like presence. These figures include tangible entities such as presidents, dictators, kings, queens, or even gods themselves, such as Dionysus in Euripides’ The Bacchae. All of these entities are god-like because they exert an extraordinary influence on human beings and their actions. While physical beings can possess god-like qualities, this is not always the case; intangible concepts can also assume a “divine force” in society. Given this, Toomer uses Cane’s “Theater” to show how intangible concepts, specifically racism, can function as gods in society. By doing so, Toomer expands on Euripides’ assertion in The Bacchae, which confines gods to physical beings. What defines gods is their ability to exert extraordinary influence on human beings and their actions; Eurpides uses Dionysus in The Bacchae to argue how a tangible entity can posses this extraordinary ability. The first example showing Dionysus’ extraordinary influence on humans occurs when he drives a group of women, the Bacchants, mad. In the text, a messenger details the extent of the Bacchant’s Dionysian madness, stating, “bulls that had been proud creatures before, with anger rising in their horns, were wrestled to the ground, dragged, down by the countless hands of young women. They were stripped of flesh they wore faster than you could have closed those royal eyes of yours (Euripides, 146-147).” This excerpt shows that Dionysus’ control over the…

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