There is a duality of gender in Dionysus; he is a male god but he displays certain feminine traits and there are references to his beauty. The first time Penthouse sees him, he comments that his hair Is very long; he also says that he does not have a manly figure, he could never be a wrestler and that he will cut off Dionysus’ delicate hair. Penthouse Is suggesting that Dionysus has a distinctly feminine look and a frail, womanly body. The followers he has gathered are all women. There is later irony when Dionysus persuades Penthouse that he must dress in female clothing in order to observe the acts of the possessed women.
Dionysus suffers from his duality. He is a god, with godly powers, yet he has strong connections to the world of mortals. He is representative of the contradictions in life: he is a male god, but womanly in his human form, he can be cool and reasonable, yet he brings chaos and bad behavior. He is the protagonist, yet, as a god, seems to be outside the action, watching and directing. Dionysus threatened Thebes social order in many ways. First off, he had all of the women under a spell, he could make them do anything he’d like. No one could future him including Penthouse.
When Penthouse tried to trap him, Dionysus causes an earthquake and gets away. There is no way to stop him, because after all he is a God. In the end, Dionysus gets his revenge when he orders his maenad to rip him apart. His own mother Agave Is the one to bring back his head to the king Cadmium. The Maenad are very calm and blissful when they are at rest. The maenad would dress In fawn skins and carry a thirsts which was a long stick wrapped in Ivy or vine leaves. They would weave ivy-wreaths around their heads or wear a bull helmet In nor of their god, and often handle or wear snakes.
They relate to the animals in the mountains when they are in a peaceful state because they don’t bother anyone, they just go about their business In a matter that would be considered a norm. The Maenad turn violent when they see people who are trying to capture them, or when someone is bothering them. They attack anything on sight and rip body parts to the fullest extent. Since they are under a spell, they do not realize that they are doing this. Being faithful to Dionysus is part of being a Maenad. Also, they obey everything that Dionysus orders them to do.
The Maenad and the Beach transgressed the social norms of Classical Greek culture. There is a lot of killing and violence that goes on throughout the play. The play honors the Gods however it is portrayed as more of a brain wash than sanctity. Family does not get along In The Beach, which Is frowned upon in Greek culture because family Is one of the key principles. Greek people are bound to have big families. The women in the play portray a key role In society, however the men are really the ones who are the most important. In Classical Green culture, women had little or no rights at all. Penthouse is curious to observe the Maenad women.
He agrees to dress up as a woman so that he can see why the women are acting so crazy. It is ironic because he is doubling Dionysus at this point because at the beginning of the play he portrayed him as very feminine. Whereas he is the one dressed up as a woman now. Penthouse thought that he would acquire all of the answers that he needed by pretending to be something that he is not. When Penthouse agrees to transform himself into a woman it is clearly a shock. He is 1 OFF suspicious, and arrogant. It is a pivotal point because it shows that he isn’t as redheaded and closed minded as we thought that he was.
By making the mistake of going to the Maenad, Penthouse ends up getting killed. Euripides could have wanted to tell us that no matter what the gender, every person is strong. It didn’t take a man to kill a man, rather a woman did it also. Women should get more creditability because they are Just as strong and Just as good as men- if not better! Dionysus decided to return to Thebes to punish Agave and her sisters because they were the ones who caused his mother’s death. They called her a liar and a where when she told them that Zeus is her baby’s father.
He comes back to punish them for making his mother suffer, furthermore killing her when she asks Zeus to reveal himself as a God to her. Penthouse is killed by his mother Agave. Dionysus decides to inflict this punishment on him because he is very outraged by his mother’s death. He comes back to revenge because Smell was harshly mistreated. I think that it symbolizes karma very much. As I was reading the play, it made me realize that if you do bad to someone, it will eventually come back to bite you right back. It is very important to be a good person if you’d like to be respected and honored.