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Euripides’s Revolution under CoverAn Essay$
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Pietro Pucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700613

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700613.001.0001

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Revenge Prepares Its Murderous Weapon

Revenge Prepares Its Murderous Weapon

26. Revenge Prepares Its Murderous Weapon
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Dionysus prepares his revenge against Pentheus using women as his mythical weapons. Dionysus invites Pentheus to listen to the Messenger's account of the miraculous deeds performed by the Bacchants of Thebes on the mountain. According to his narrative, the Theban Bacchants, including Pentheus's mother and aunts, are not enjoying sexual license, as the king believes. Rather, they are modest and blessed by a miraculous nature that provides them with streams of water, wine, milk, and honey. This chapter considers the question of the relationship between myth and ritual as well as Pentheus's surrender, as well as how the consciousness of Pentheus's impotence turns the perverse desire that has been always present in him into an explosive, open expression.

Keywords:   revenge, Pentheus, women, Dionysus, Bacchants, Thebes, sex, myth, ritual, desire

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