Dionysus Position Essay: Pagan Culture (w/focus on Dionysus)

Essay by Prue750College, UndergraduateA+, December 2006

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Dionysus was a God. Dionysus IS a God. I disagree with the idea that the Dionysian concept has no relevance in today's society. On the contrary I believe that the God's concept is alive and well, and will continue to be so. The problem lays in the fact that the people of today don't realize that their beliefs, experiences and lives in general are relevant to his image. So where, then, is the relevance of his concept in today's culture?

In order to discuss Dionysus' relevance in today's society it's important for you to know the other ideas that are synonymous with the God's name aside from wine, orgies, sex, etc. These previous definitions are the popular notions that have been carried throughout history. There are, however, other images that are represented in the Dionysian concept. Some of these include revelry, androgyny, fertility of vegetation, equality/balance, renewal, the irrational and theatre.

As you can see, the God's modern image has been cut down throughout time and regenerated now as much less than what it initially had been.

When we first began the class we read a play titled Bacchae, by Euripides. When discussing the story, we talked about that of "tragedy" and "comedy," and were asked to label the play as one or the other. First off, whether anyone realized it or not, both of those words are synonymous with theatre as much as they are with Dionysus. Theatre's traditional symbol is that of two masks, one tragic and one comic. The difficulty of the assignment came in the interpretations everyone brought to the play. In my opinion, because one of Dionysus' concepts is that of Theatre, Euripides was smart enough to create a story that was ambiguous in its storytelling, making it difficult to define as...