The Bacchae

Why is Pantheus a tragic hero according to the Greeks

In structure of Aristotles book on Poetics, why is Pantheus a tragic Hero?

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Pantheus is a tragic hero because he has all good intentions in his actions. He is against ritualistic sacrifice and tries to protect the women from the rites that take them from the city and into the forest. He sees the ritual as an excuse to flaunt both the moral and legal codes that have been implemented to regulate Theban society.

The worship of Dionysus has been forbidden,and in turn he comes to the city and allows himself to be arrested knowing that his true intent is to destroy Pantheus. Pantheus is unable to contain the powerful god; he may have been allowed to arrest him, but it becomes immediately obvious that he isn't really under incarceration.

In the end, Dionysus ruins Pantheus with something as simple as offering him the forbidden and Pantheus can't refuse. It's like the snake in Adam and Eve, a taste of forbidden fruit. The result of his caving in is to be torn apart by his own mother.


The Bacchae