Apollonian and Dionysian Man Essay

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Zeus's mother, Rhea, made



him whole again. Semele's sister, Ino, and her husband Athamas, raised Dionysus as a



girl so Hera would not recognize him. Hera was not deceived. Her rage drove Ino and



Athamas mad. Zeus ordered Hermes, the divine messenger, to transform Dionysus into a



young goat. He wanted them to bring him to Mt. Nysa where he would be secretly raised



by nymphs, the joyous female spirits of the forests and mountains.(Johnson, 20)











     Dionysus spent his childhood gamboling over the mountainside, surrounded by



nature, learning the sensuous pleasures of the earth. The muses, one of his teachers,



inspired him with poetry and music. The saturs(half-men, half-goat) taught him wonders of



dance and exuberant sexuality. The sileni(part-man, part-horse),spirits of the springs and



rivers, taught him wisdom. Silenus, the intoxicated old man was Dionysus's predecessor.



He taught the young god virtue.(Johnson, 23)









     Years passed, Dionysus learned many things. The grapevine can only grow in the



sun's intense heat and moisture of the spring rain. Dionysus had been born of fire and



nourished by the rains of the mountain. He understood the power of the vine perfectly, and



marked his passage from childhood by inventing the art of wine-making. This would bring



humanity so much potential joy and desperation. Dionysus now stood revealed as a god.



Wherever Dionysus went, he invited
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