Instead of taking the messenger's descriptions of the miracles the Bacchae perform in the mountains as proof of Dionysus's divinity, Pentheus focuses on the women's violent reaction to being hunted by men and decides that he will have them all slaughtered. What does this say about Pentheus's state of mind at this point in the play?
Pentheus is unwilling to change his mind about Dionysus and the Bacchae--even when he is given proof that the god causes miraculous and terrible things to happen, he is too stubborn to act with reason. Gender also plays a big part in this. Pentheus says, "Affairs are out of hand when we tamely endure such conflict in our women" when he decides...
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