Nagy, Gregory. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_NagyG.The_Ancient_Greek_Hero_in_24_Hours.2013. Abridged edition 2019.
Hour 21: The hero’s agony in the Bacchae of Euripides
The meaning of agōn
The agōn of Pentheus
The meaning of pathos
Staging the dismemberment of Pentheus
Hour 21 Text A
The staging of Dionysus
The subjectivity of Dionysus
What we see is the god Dionysus wearing a mask, or, better, wearing a face that is his mask, and this mask is the ultimate mask because it shows the looks of his own face. That is the point of such a representation of the god of masks, who is the god of theater.
Staging the Bacchants
Hour 21 Text B
As we will see, the Bacchic wand used in rituals sacred to Dionysus is ordinarily called a thursos or ‘thyrsus’, which is a fennel stalk or narthēx that is stuffed with ivy.