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Lecture 12 ('09)

Lecture 12 ('09) - Dionysus(Bacchus Dionysus...

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Unformatted text preview: Dionysus (Bacchus) Dionysus 9/25/09 Dionysus (Bacchus) Dionysus God of wine, drama, fruit, God ecstatic release through music and dance (and drink) and Origin of name is uncertain, Origin but may mean ‘god of Nysa’ (dios = ‘god’); Nysa is a mountain, variously located mountain, Romans preferred the name Romans Bacchus (used by the Greeks as well), the meaning of which is unknown is Appearance: in early art he’s Appearance: bearded, later he’s young, often shown with grape vines and wearing animal skins and Often attended by Maenads Often and Satyrs and Maenads and Satyrs Maenads Maenads – Female attendants of Female Dionysus, often playing drums and clashing cymbals and – Often carry the thyrsus (a Often thyrsus wand wreathed with ivy and tipped with a pine cone) tipped – Name comes from root Name meaning ‘to be insane’ meaning – Half man, half goat (or horse) Half creatures who hang out with Dionysus Dionysus – Get drunk and chase Get Maenads around Maenads – In a constant state of sexual In arousal arousal Satyrs Dionysus’ Birth Story Dionysus’ Zeus and Semele, a Zeus mortal mortal Semele goes up in Semele flames, baby put into Zeus’ thigh and (re)born later (re)born – Dionysus associated Dionysus with rebirth (of the fruit, and of the soul); a god of resurrection god Euripides’ Bacchae Bacchae Dionysus’ divinity is being Dionysus’ challenged at Thebes by the king, Pentheus, and Semele’s sisters Semele’s So Dionysus wants to So prove his divinity and punish Pentheus punish Our best source for the Our ecstatic and irrational devotion that the god could inspire could Dionysus and Tragedy Dionysus Thiasus (religious congregation) congregation) Dithyramb (song honoring the god) god) Leader begins to emerge from Leader group, possibly acting as the god, with the thiasus thiasus responding responding Possibly the origin of an actor Possibly and a chorus and – We’re told the first such actor We’re was Thespis (534 BC) was – Cf. ‘thespian’ The Great Dionysia at Athens – Festival in honor of Dionysus, Festival during which tragedies were performed performed Pan Pan A half goat, half human half god who resembles the Satyrs (he often joins Bacchic revels) Bacchic God of the woodlands God and shepherds (and music) music) – Inventor of the panpipe Inventor (syrinx) He could inspire fear in He country folk and/or travelers (hence our term ‘panic’) ‘panic’) Echo and Narcissus Echo Ovid’s Ovid’s Metamorphoses Metamorphoses Etiology for the echo for Origin of our terms Origin narcissism / narcissistic – Cf. Freudian usage of Cf. the term the ...
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