Presenter Information

Bretta LichtenwalnerFollow

Start Date

12-12-2018 11:15 AM

Description

The ancient god Dionysus held a unique position in the Greco-Roman pantheon. As the god of wine, religious ecstasy, and theater, he represented a much wider and more diverse sphere of influence than the rest of the ancient gods. Due to this and other facets of his mythology, Dionysus had a much closer relationship with humanity than other gods. His presence was a staple in ancient Greek and Roman culture, and worshipping him was a much more personal endeavor than the worship of other gods. In my research on Dionysus, I examined two plays that opened in the same year, 405 BC, both featuring the god as a main character. These were The Frogs by Aristophanes and the Bacchae by Euripides. In these plays, Dionysus is presented once as a tragic figure and once a comedic figure. I hypothesize that the cultural context of the Peloponnesian War explains why both characterizations existed simultaneously in the Athenian psyche. Going forward, I’d like to research more instances in which the two sides of Dionysus overlap, and what these overlaps might signal about society at those times.

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Dec 12th, 11:15 AM

Dionysus: The Dual God

The ancient god Dionysus held a unique position in the Greco-Roman pantheon. As the god of wine, religious ecstasy, and theater, he represented a much wider and more diverse sphere of influence than the rest of the ancient gods. Due to this and other facets of his mythology, Dionysus had a much closer relationship with humanity than other gods. His presence was a staple in ancient Greek and Roman culture, and worshipping him was a much more personal endeavor than the worship of other gods. In my research on Dionysus, I examined two plays that opened in the same year, 405 BC, both featuring the god as a main character. These were The Frogs by Aristophanes and the Bacchae by Euripides. In these plays, Dionysus is presented once as a tragic figure and once a comedic figure. I hypothesize that the cultural context of the Peloponnesian War explains why both characterizations existed simultaneously in the Athenian psyche. Going forward, I’d like to research more instances in which the two sides of Dionysus overlap, and what these overlaps might signal about society at those times.