bacchae-on heroism

bacchae-on heroism - Natalie Del Favero Classical Mythology...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Natalie Del Favero Classical Mythology 280 Professor James Collins TA: Afroditi Manthati Angelopoulou Euripedes’ Bacchae: On Heroism The great Greek philosopher Aristotle defines heroism through a set of necessary phases the protagonist must undergo. According to Aristotle, first the character in question must experience a reversal or downfall. This reversal is driven by necessity and is characterized by hamartia, the great tragic flaw. The second step is suffering which constitutes a painful or destructive action. Finally, the protagonist must achieve a state of recognition and have a clear understanding of what went wrong. This third stage gives the character newfound knowledge and the overall story a moral. In Euripedes’ Bacchae , the character Agave displays the characteristics of a hero by submitting to the hypnotic powers of the God Dionysus, thus murdering her own son, and accepting the repercussions of her actions. Agave’s original rejection of her sister Semele’s claim to have given birth to an immortal God, Dionysus, deemed her a heretic of Dionysus’ divine powers and genealogy. Upon hearing Agave’s skepticism, Dionysus took it upon himself to possess the minds of Agave, her sisters, and all skeptics of his powers. The great God turned these women into his mindless followers, the Bacchae or Maenads, who praised and worshipped him upon Mt. Kithairon. Agave’s hamartia, although she was not conscious
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
of it at the time, was her submission to Dionysus’ mind control. In the case of the Bacchae , the hero is being acted upon and serves as a puppet for the all-powerful puppeteer, Dionysus. Although Aristotle’s criteria of a hero would place the step of suffering in the middle of the character’s transformation, the suffering and recognition phase are switched in the case of Agave in the Bacchae . Unlike the traditional heroes, Agave recognizes her actions before her suffering begins. In the story, Agave proudly carries what she thinks is a lion head to her father, Cadmus, to revel in her great hunt on Mt. Kithairon. Cadmus,
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 5

bacchae-on heroism - Natalie Del Favero Classical Mythology...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online