Chapter 13.docx - Chapter 13 Dionysus Pan Echo and...

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Chapter 13: Dionysus, Pan, Echo, and Narcissus The birth, childhood, and origins of Dionysus o The traditional account of the birth of Dionysus (Bacchus) runs as follows Disguised as a mortal, Zeus was having an affair with Semele, a daughter of Cadmus When Hera found out, her jealousy led her to get even She appeared to Semele disguised as an old woman and convinced her rival that she should ask her lover to appear in the full magnificence of his divinity Semele first persuaded Zeus to swear that he would grant whatever she might ask of him, and then revealed her demand Zeus was unwilling but was obliged to comply, and Semele was burned to a cinder by the splendor of his person and the fire of his lightning flash The unborn child, being divine, was not destroyed in the conflagration; Zeus saved his son from the ashes of his mother and sewed him up in his own thigh, from which he was born again at the proper time o Hermes, who had rescued Dionysus from Semele's ashes, carried the baby to the nymphs of Nysa o Ino, Semele's sister, is traditionally singled out as one who cared for the god when he was a baby o When Dionysus reached manhood, he carried the message of his worship far and wide, bringing happiness and prosperity to those who would listen and madness and death to those who dared oppose o The tradition of his arrival in Greece stresses the belief that he is a latecomer to the Olympian pantheon and that his origins lie in Thrace and ultimately Phrygia The Bacchae of Euripides o Dionysus is basically a god of vegetation in general, and in particular of the vine, the grape, and the making and drinking of wine o His mother's integrity has been questioned by her own relatives, and the magnitude and
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