The Bacchae

Dramatic structure

In the play's climactic plot construction, Dionysus the protagonist instigates the unfolding action by simultaneously emulating the play's author, costume designer, choreographer and artistic director.[36] Helene P. Foley, writing of the importance of Dionysus as the central character and his effect on the play's structure, observes: "The poet uses the ritual crisis to explore simultaneously god, man, society, and his own tragic art. In this protodrama Dionysus, the god of the theatre, stage-directs the play."[37]

At the play's start, Dionysus' exposition highlights the play's central conflict; the invasion of Greece by an Asian religion.[38]


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