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Bacchae Essay

Assignment id 1003843
Discipline Writing
Assignment type Essay
Words 2240
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In Euripides' play The Bacchae, the ideals that were the foundation of Greek culture were called in to question. Until ancient 400B.C. E. Athens has been a society based upon logical thinking, individuals acting for the benefit of the people, and also the "ideal" society. This is what scholars commonly refer to as the Hellenic era of Greek civilization. As Athens is surrounded by Sparta, but the taxpayers find themselves questioning the ideals that they had previously lived their own lives by. Euripides' play The Bacchae shows the underlying change in ideology of the Greek people from Hellenic (or classical), to Hellenistic; the god personality Dionysus is going to be the example that points to the shifting Greek ideology. In this shifting Greek society the cultural significance that will experience the most striking shift is idealism. Fleming's Arts and Ideas clarifies idealism like, "An idea or mental image that tries to transcend physical limitations, aspires toward a pride which goes beyond actual observation and seeks a concept near perfection" (55). Euripides starts his drama with Dionysus describing the events which happened until the current. Dionysus has been a half-god, born of a human mother and Zeus; that is the first illustration of the "ideal" being questioned. The simple fact that Dionysus refers himself as a god is the most heavy blow to the "perfect" however. Dionysus says on several occasions, "(I), emerging as a god to mortal men" (ln. 42), and "I was born a god" (ln.63). These statements reflect Dionysus's ignorance to who he is, along with the abandoned Greek belief of "know itself". It is not just the viewer who recognizes the Dionysus is lacking the 'ideal" mindset of a god but reasonable personalities of this drama will pick up with this also. ...

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