The Bachae Essay, Research Paper
In the story, The Bacchae The dramatic conflict is how Pentheus goes against the nature and ways of Dionysus and his followers. Pentheus is an ignorant king who believes that he is the all-powerful and that Dionysus is not a god. Pentheus actually states to his father that Dionysus is no god. When he is confronted by Dionysus(The Stranger) he is ignorant and doubtful of his godliness. He is soon killed because of his ignorance.
Throughout the story Pentheus makes the mistake of doubting Dionysus. Pentheus first states his ignorance when he tells his father that Dionysus is no god. Well, we know what happened to that little shoot: sizzled by a thunderbolt along with mother and her lie she had the nerve to name Zeus the father as her lover. What Gall! What effrontery! (87.245) Pentheus ignorance is self-destruction all the way from the beginning of the play.
Another big part of the conflict is when Dionysus (The Stranger) and Pentheus meet for the first time. Pentheus attitude was like he was the most powerful and that The Stranger was nothing. Even When The Stranger told him that Dionysus was a god and born to Zeus Pentheus still seemed ignorant. There is a conversation between them that shows Pentheus thoughts toward Dionysus, I ll shut your carcass up oh, safe in prison. Dionysus says, And when I wish, the God himself will set me free. Pentheus then replies, Indeed? When you stand among your bacchants, begging. (94.495) Pentheus ignorance and thought of invincibility show another cause of his destruction.
Pentheus has such hatred for Dionysus that he is blind to realize that Dionysus is a god. Pentheus soon finds himself believing that all Dionysus stands for is wrong. He even believes that the women with Dionysus are devils. His destruction is now upon hand and the he goes into the fields dressed as a women. The women then butcher him from limb to limb.
The dramatic conflict of Pentheus and his ignorance shows true for many people. Pentheus mistake was thinking that he was invincible and doubting Dionysus. Pentheus also showed weakness when he showed ethnocentrism towards Dionysus and his followers way of life. Ignorance can be something of a deadly trait for many. Maybe this story is telling us that we should always keep an open mind when it comes to believing or disbelieving anything.