The Myth of Pentheus Dionysus was traveling around the world telling everybody he is a God. Things were going great until he made it to his home town of Thebes. Unfortunately Dionysus sisters were spreading rumors about him to cause people to believe that he was not a God. His cousin King Pentheus didnt believe him either. So he tossed Dionysus and all of his followers in jail. Dionysus drove the women of Thebes crazy and they danced on Mount Cithaeron. Dionysus and the maenads easily escaped their jail cell and returned to the mountain. Dionysus tricked his cousin Pentheus into dressing like a maenad so he could spy on the dancers. Unfortunately the dancers saw through his disguise but, they thought he was a mountain lion. The girls ripped him to pieces and Agave, his mother, stabbed him in the face with a thyrsus. When she realized what she did, Dionysus exiled her and her sisters from Thebes.
Theatre Comedy vulgar sexual not many women went no one died Tragedy composed of followers of Dionysus who had some characteristics of a goat the word tragedy means a goat song at first they were lighthearted but later they became serious someone always died
Theatre continued The chorus assumed to be one character but it really was about 15 to 20 people expressing the ideas of that character. Agon is a contest or an interrogation of a character Thespis was the first actor of tragedy Aeschylus was the second actor and Sophocles was the third, these actors lessened the role of the chorus Dithyramb was first a hymn to Dionysus and later became any hymn with a heroic subject The chorus sang a rapid lyric during a Greek tragedy at a moment of high tension, on the joy of the Bacchae and greatness of justice
Theories of the Origin of Theatre Aristotle- tragedy evolved from dithyramb to Dionysus Anthropologic Evidence- tragedy grew out of religious mystery performance Internal Evidence- tragedy grew out of a cult of the dead, a ritual morning a heros ghost
Festivals Lenaea- festival of maenads spring festival City Dionysia- many plays were preformed at the Acropolis for many days
Cult As opposed to traditional Greek values the followers of Dionysus were crazy and uncontrollable The followers of Dionysus were called enthousiasmos or being filled with the gods His followers experienced ekstasis, standing outside oneself The modern words enthusiastic and ecstasy were derived from enthousiasmos and ekstasis
Cult continued Dionysus cult appealed to women more because they were more emotional and they formed an oppressed class in Greece who longed for the ecstatic release that Dionysian religion could provide The followers of Dionysus would participate in a ritual that involved crazy dancing, wine drinking, and sexual interactions
Bibliography "Dionysus." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online. Osborn, Kevin and Burgess, Dana. The Complete Idiots Guide To Classical Mythology. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1998. Chapter 9: Eat, Drink, and be Merry: Dionysus Powell, Barry. Classical Mythology Fifth Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2007. Chapter 10: Myths of Fertility
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