The other news is that some stranger xenos has

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The other newsis that somestranger[xenos] has arrived in town, asorcerer from Lydia, aconjurerof sorts,with golden scented hair tumbling down to his shoulders, a skin that glows like wine, andeyesthat promise Aphrodite’s charms.He spends his nights and days with girls, I hear,enticing themwith hisBacchic witchcraf.Just let me catch him hanging round these streets, and his thyrsus-tapping, hair-tossing days areover. His body will be looking for his head.•And he blames Teiresias for promoting this new god as well, saying he does so to drum upbusiness.What happens in theBacchae?Teiresias replies:“When a sensible manhas a good cause to defend, to be eloquent is no great feat. Your tongue is so nimbleone might think you had some sense, but your words contain none at all. The powerful manwho matches insolence with glibness is worse than a fool. He is a public danger!. . . Young man,two are the forces most precious to mankind. The first is Demeter, the Goddess.She is the Earth—or any name you wish to call her— and she sustains humanity with solid food.Next came the son of the virgin, Dionysus, bringing the counterpart to bread, wine and theblessings of life’s flowing juices.
His blood, the blood of the grape,lightens the burden of our mortal misery.”•Pentheus refuses to listen to Cadmus and Teiresias, and he calls for the stranger to be broughtto him in chains.•The chorus sings an ode to Dionysus:He is life’s liberating force.He is release of limbs and communion through dance. He is laughter and music in flutes.He is repose from all cares—he is sleep! When his blood bursts from the grape and flows acrosstables laid in his honor to fuse our blood,he gently, gradually, wraps us in shadows of ivy-cool sleep. . . .Knowledge[actually, “Cleverness”] is not wisdom.A knowing mind that ignores its own limits who aims too highnever reaps what lies within his grasp. Such is the folly—and I know of none worse—of perversely ambitious, fanatical men.Conflicts apparent in theBacchae:•insulting mortals vs. insulted deity•human cleverness vs. divine wisdom•clever speech devoid of reason•human law and order vs. divine power•civilization vs. wilderness•social order and public morals vs. mysterious, unpredictable, uninhibited, animal-like behavior•human rationality vs. divinely inspired irrational•excess vs. moderationTheBacchaeso far . . .•Pentheus, King of Thebes, has outlawed the worship of Dionysus and called for the arrest ofthe stranger who is promoting “this newfangled god.”•Most of the women of Thebes are cavorting on the mountainside, celebrating the rites ofDionysus.•A few of the Bacchants have been arrested and imprisoned.•Cadmus and Teiresias have announced their intention to join the women in the wilderness andcelebrate the rites of Dionysus.•The stranger in town has revealed his identity to the audience but not to the characters in theplay. He has made clear his intentions to exact punishment from the people of Thebes fordenying his divinity.

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