In the play The Bacchae written by Euripides, many different causes have been identified for the destruction of Pentheus, King of Thebes, and cousin to the god Dionysus. But the main causes of Pentheus’ destruction are himself, the god Dionysus and his mother.
The main cause of Pentheus’ destruction was from himself. Pentheus was arrogant and continuously denied the god Dionysus’ divinity. He never offered any libations to the god during the worshipping ceremonies. This is a blasphemous act as it shows that Pentheus broke the rules of pious conduct against an important god. Dionysus is the provider of the wine, which is the liquid source to Demeter's grains which is a dry food. The dry food is edible but not enjoyable by itself. The people of Thebes, Pentheus' kingdom have been able to survive so far because Dionysus existed. And to completely ignore the god is to say that wine just happens to exist with no effort. This act of ignorance continued and was blasphemous and Pentheus being the king had his followers acting in the same manner. Furthermore his crime against the god was committed freely and knowingly. Pentheus had experienced many miracles before his eyes and Dionysus even gave hints about his own divinity to Pentheus but the king still refused. “Where I am; but you are impious yourself, so you do not see him” (Bacchae, line 502) – this line is directly referring to one of the hints the god gave. This showed that even though the truth was blatantly in front of him, Pentheus refused to acknowledge the gods existence. But the god waited patiently and even offered his love through this patience until the end. When he saw no hope in converting the stubborn mortal who through time and time again refused this love by resisting and disbelieving in the god’s divinity, Dionysus stroke his divine blow - by using beautifully crafted words. He seduced Pentheus into leaving his strong-willed masculine attributes and changed him into a docile, effeminate male...
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