Dramatically the core of the play is a war of words and disagreement between the two characters: Pentheus and Dionysus. The distinguish mark of violent and narrow-minded man” Pentheus” against the smiling and ambiguous god” Dionysus”. The Euripides immediately establishes from line 126 as ethical and theological basis for its play, since the speech of Teirasiases introduce this in monologue . His language almost sound as wise and well constructed, as he says: “Give a wise man an honest brief to plead and his eloquence is no remarkable achievement. That shows him being calm on surface. His speech more got a formal shape to itself.
However, Euripides tries to play games with the audiences mind. In one hand the audience got the image of him being wise and formal, but in other hand he looses the hang of his speech and tries to set the scene with his utter possession of Dionysus. He says: ” Join the dances of the god an ancient foolish pair perhaps, but dance we must. Nothing you have said is going to change my mind. “Which shows him, expressing his opinion, as “you will have a problem if your’ not in my religion” toward Pentheus.
This conflict of both group, has also been shown as Teiresias says: “Think: you are pleased when man stand outside your doors and the city, glorifies the name of Pentheus, and so the god. He too delights in glory. ” Which shows the reflection of being possessed by Dionysus and shows that both groups are as extreme as each other. Costume and staging in Euripides, is used as a demonstration tool, to express their tradition in an open way. Take Teiresias and Cadmus for example: They’re wearing a fawn skin and an ivy crown, with thyrsus, which shows their excessive religious believe and tradition.
Particularly, Teiresias could use thyrsus, because of his loss of sight. In contrast of them, Pentheus, this lonesome envious leader, is dressed in Fine Greek military which represent a Greek traditional. The image of him being beardless proves to audience that he cannot be very well much more than seventeen or eighteen. As for most of the character, recognition and identification are the most important actions. The assemblies in Euripides seem to be what we call voting in our days. Yet the people of the debate always stay the same Another distinguish mark of this scene is the use of slow pace.
Mainly fulfilled with the pieces of monologue, which begins with Teiresias. They seem very static, almost rhetoric. Euripides simply uses this style to give the audience a chance to develop their ideas. The use of monologue and dialogue is to create this suspense. Essentially, it has been used as an essential key to inform the reader about the past and what is going to happen at the end. Occasionally, we are aware of Coryphaeus, the chorus leader, at the corner of the play. Who uses shorter responses to praise Teiresias’s wisdom and disdain Pentheus’s rejection of Dionysus.
To look at this scene closely, the audience have the opportunity to meditate the speeches, as they are uninterrupted. The most common mean of developing characters is through speeches. It seems to be a fashion, used by the author to make the audience to realize the characteristics of each man’s personality. As well as there are differences in opinions between Pentheus and the followers of the Dionysus. An example of this occurs when Teiresias says: ” Mark my word, Pentheus… do not mistake for wisdom, the fantasies of your such a mind.
Which emphasises Teiresias’s wisdom and prophecy by using “prediction” in his speech. Again, we see: “Reckless fool, you do not know the consequences of your words” which simply, create suspense in audience and make them believe that something is going to happen. In creating of Pentheus, Euripides has managed a sophisticated narration. Pentheus, this imperious character, who, his threats, insults and outrages is revenged with ironic. As he says: “go and worship your Bacchus, but do not wipe your madness on me” which portrait him as a prude person, yet a dictator.
Throughout the scene, the audience see him goes off, moving his thyrsus by wearing a head band of priest, as he says: ” Go someone, this instant, to the place where this prophet prophecies. Pry it up” which shows his self-ignorant of his nature. Elsewhere, We have Dionysus answering him “You don’t know what you do. You don’t know who you are” Pentheus hasn’t got any identity. As a chorally, to the characters, Euripides uses its characters as a demonstration tool. A technique of seducing the audiences’ opinion, into the benefits of age and wisdom over youth.
With the mixture of dramatic tones, many points of the style and content seem to be diction. Plus using a lot of explanation marks . As we are informed by attendant, in line 435: “We have captured the quarry you set us out to catch… not empty handed either. ” Which simply shows, his enthusiasm and obedience towards Pentheus. But what draws reader’s attention to, is Pentheus’s anticipation, as he says. “Untie his hands we have him in our net. ” The short sentences and diction gives audience the impression of anticipation.
And this is where the style of the speech changes from monologue to stichomythia and a beginning to physical actions. There are other odd aspects. As we also find the attendant in shock. ” Sir this stranger has come to Thebes in full of many miracles. ” Which leaves attendant, finding it hard to believe what is happening. At this scene’s onset, Pentheus act exactly opposite to xenia. However, Dionysus has been called as a “stranger”, yet Pentheus treat him as a prisoner. Then the dramatic tones start to take its place, by Pentheus being sarcastic and assert his “Power” over Dionysus.
So you are attractive… Now then where are you from? ” The diction by Pentheus is an attempt to defame Dionysus and frame him as a fool in front of audience. What he continues to do is to discredit Dionysus masculinity, as he says: “Your curls are long… you do not wrestle, I take it. ” He’s trying to give the notion to the audience that Dionysus is too feminine to be a god. Dramatically, the most use of stichomythia has fulfilled effectively, in the argument between Dionysus and Pentheus. ” How did you find him? face to face… you say you see a god. What form did he consume? You evade the question.
The rapid and deep questions make him cornestley against Dionysus. Euripides uses this style to create this particular effect on audience to trap them in a position of not knowing what is going to happen next. However, in this part Dionysus seems to handle this part entirely, as we hear from Pentheus: “you shall regret this clever answers” which portrait Dionysus, as a skilful and droll person. In addition for Euripides to make this dramatic effect on audience, it utilizes a technique of using physical actions. It uses Pentheus very much, to achieve this upshot as he says; “I shall cut your girlish curls.
He again tries to promote himself by ignoring Dionysus’s statement;” My hair in holy… ” yet he cut it immediately, to prove to the audience that he’s in control. The use of sharp language, and an ongoing verbal tone, is exploited almost by Pentheus, through this scene. Words such as “chain him,” “lock him” or “seize him”. Which bring out Pentheus’s characteristics to the audience as an arbitrary and violent man. Yet, we come across him again during this scene, as he says:” But I say: chain him. I am the stronger here” where Pentheus tries to make an image of himself as a hunter, who has got Dionysus as a hunted, in front of audience.
However, the hunter will become the hunted at the end. ” When you set chain on me, you manacle the god” Dionysus says. That sends the audience a message that, no one can chain a god. Yet, Pentheus doesn’t accept that or does he pretend it, it’s not really clear to the audience. Thus we are told by Teiresias that he’s mad. ” For you are drugged with madness. ” Which makes us believe to accept the fact that he is crazy. The play employs Dionysus and Pentheus and the conflicts between them, as an image of them both being cruel and aggressive.
As Dionysus says:” Talk to a fool, and he calls you foolish” Dionysus speaks with a better diction, against Pentheus who is more directed. Yet, provoking with his deep questions. Beyond this point, they certainly and variously abuse, each other’s way of behaviour and tradition. “Whatever he wished. The choice was his not mine. ” showing Dionysus coming up with clever answers. Not only that, he confronts Pentheus as “completely fearless” and “smiling”. That portraits him, as a careless and intrepid god.
The first image that audience can take of Dionysus in this scene, is being drunk “his ruddy cheeks were flushed as though with wine. we are informed that being drunk is one of the rules in Dionysus’s tradition. Yet, it doesn’t reach audience’s expectation of a god to be stated as “drunk”. All this has been covered in stichomythia style. Perhaps the most important element of the opening phrase in this scene is made by Pentheus;” You are attractive, stranger” Which emphasises his first compliment to Dionysus, in a twisting manner.
As he then sarcastically continues “at least to women… ” The highlight on using the attendant against Pentheus, establishes so early in this scene. The fear of this God “Dionysus” make him to say, “I am not to blame… e ordered your arrest”. It creates an assumption of him, not taking the blame for Dionysus’s capture. For both the audience and Pentheus. One of the more interesting techniques of this scene is the use of imagery. Especially of “women” the strict believers of Dionysus. Who are described as “untouched by human hands”. The audience don’t see them in the play but hear about them from the attendant as “They’ve gone, clean away… ” which displays to the audience of what is happening in Dionysus’s absence.
The world described in the similes is more to embellish the scene. Hunt Aphrodite beauty” and ” we captured the quarry, you sent us to catch, but our pray was tame, refused to run” are the two references, that are given to audience to inform them of what happened in the past. Which mainly, has been used by Pentheus, in his deep questions. Due to the reason, that Dionysus hasn’t got a proper background. The metaphor may in fact be as remarkable as a demonstrably feature to describe Dionysus. Consider “Bromius”,”Bacchus” or “Thundrer” which all represent “power “In this case, using metaphor makes the scene not tedious, but ongoing and attention grabbing.
Overall, to sum up the dramatic effects of this scene, I must say that they were as successful as to leave the audience, with full background of what happened before and what is going to happen in the future. What the audience also find, is that this scene tends to meet a central controlling issue, by the action and at the same time altered by it, under dramatic pressure. ++++ Which in this case is “wisdom”. This scene exhibits the range of the characteristics roughly in terms of the characters and their actions.