RR1 - Naina Vohra Reading Response#1 The Reading of Drama The name Pentheus when broken down into its etymological roots has a surprisingly fitting

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Naina Vohra Reading Response #1 The Reading of Drama The name Pentheus, when broken down into its etymological roots, has a surprisingly fitting meaning. “Pen-“ is the Latin root for “almost” and “theus” is the Greek root for “God.” Simply put, “Pentheus” means something along the lines of “one who is almost Godly.” This is especially fitting, considering the fact that the role of Pentheus in Euripedes’ The Bacchae is double-faceted. Not only does the young king work to reject a god, but he also, in his position as leader of his state, acts as a substitute for a god, a symbol of power and authority. Not to mention, he and Dionysus share a family tree. This leads to an interesting irony, especially come the end of the play, where Pentheus is brutally killed by his mother and the other bacchae. He dies having lived a life acting as a substitute for God to his people, and as a sacrifice in order to worship an actual God, the same one that he spent his life rejecting. In fact, the entire play could be viewed as being centered around this irony, and
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This essay was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course ENGL 2720 taught by Professor Davis,stuart during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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RR1 - Naina Vohra Reading Response#1 The Reading of Drama The name Pentheus when broken down into its etymological roots has a surprisingly fitting

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