LITR 4370 Tragedy
lecture notes
Spring 2017

Hippolytos

 

 

Reactions to midterm2

Will review again next week, but chance to preview and reinforce

unusual grading / revision process for instructor as well as student

good surface quality, "clean copy"

Thanks for following suggestions, attending to assignment (essential test-taking skill)

Model assignments

 

instructor's grade reports:

may be surprised by how much I'm writing

"reading notes" as close reading usu. reserved for advanced grad students

all comments not equal weight--some punctuation / typographic advice but may not affect grade seriously

Essay 2 as biggest revision challenge: not just extending but revising introduction and Midterm1 body to incorporate or preview additions

Midterm1: Tragedy & Comedy > Midterm2 & Final: Tragedy, Comedy, and Romance

 

assignments:

Romance appears strongly in last two plays (Phaedra & Desire Under the Elms) + some Comedy

 

 

 

 

 

Student comments 28 Jn 2016

chorus different, less elderly and authoritative, language like conversations

lower character like nurse propels action without overpowering sense of right and wrong

Euripides offers instant gratification in contrast to investment required for Aeschylus & Sophocles (so much behind curtain, history)

more tragic b/c more real

Gods humanized--must follow laws 

 

 

 

Discussion questions: 1. What's potentially modern and popular about Euripides? What remains classical? Does he indulge or repress Spectacle? How do Nietzsche's complaints about Euripides inform our questions and discussions?

 

Euripides keeps Nurse-Hippolytos proposition offstage, then won't let Hippolytos share it

two things we didn't see: proposition, + oath of confidentiality

 

 

BT 55 pre-Euripidean Promethean dramatists: effectively, Aeschylus and Sophocles, following Nietzscheís description of tragedy before Euripides as heroic, titanic, or mythical, until Euripides replaces myth & ritual with humanistic realism or rational naturalism.

not myth but characters create plot

6.3 Now I need another plan.

6.7 and Iíll make my own plans as I see fit.          [in contrast to mythic plots of Sophocles & Euripides, Euripides's characters make their own plots]

1.1 Aphrodite: my plot, long planned

2.4 Old man: Young sir--not master

[10.10L] My king, I know Iím just a household slave,

but Iíll say this, and I donít care who hears:

Iíll never believe your son did what you charged,

[3.59]  PHAEDRA: My fall is deeply rooted, not new grown.

[Scene 7]

[7.1] NURSE: [from within the palace]

[spectacle of hanging repressed]

 

[10.10g] And then from out of this huge, this monstrous tide,

there came a huge, a monstrous bull

10.10i that bull appears in front and heads them off,

making the chariot team veer off in panic,

but when they blindly rush towards the rocks,

it herds them silently along that course,           [it = bull]

until it trips them up and makes them stumble,

crashing the chariot wheels against the stones,

and then the chariot explodes in parts:

wheels, axles, linchpins tossed high in a whirl,

and our masterís broken arms and legs get tangled

in the reins that wrap him round too tight to move.

[10.10j] His skull gets smashed against the rocks, his flesh

is scoured along his body, and he screams,

 

 

2. What made Euripides the most popular of the great Greek playwrights for later audiences? If schoolteachers (and Nietzsche) prefer for students to admire Aeschylus and Sophocles, what about Euripides's plays may appeal more immediately to regular audiences?

Aristotle's Poetics, XIII. "Euripides, faulty though he may be in the general management of his subject, yet is felt to be the most tragic of the poets. . . ."

Plot device

Deus ex machina

8.22] THESEUS: This wooden tablet fastened to her hand,

will it tell us whatís happened? Or does she mean             [hidden notes a stock element of melodrama]

3.74 Oenone as Graeculus (BT 55)

3.79 reality x honor

1.1 People just naturally like to be admired / why should the gods be any different?

2.22]  OLD MAN: But I myself, speaking within my station,

. . . Iíd hate to believe

the gods are just as bad as human beings.       [Euripides brings gods & myths to level of humanity?]

3.26c If you die, then you will betray your children.

8.12] THESEUS: Oh family, children, wife, what ancient curse*   

has worked its way through time for our destruction?

[*Instructor's note: In Euripides's tragedies, curses really aren't so ancient, unless you count Phaedra's family's sexual misadventures as continuing with unnatural lust for Hippolytos]

 

 

 Phaedraís love for you will not be lost

in the endless depths of timeís oblivious ocean.     [transcendence of romance?]

[11.33] HIPPOLYTOS: And may you fare well too, beloved queen. . .

I release my father from all blame,

obedient now and always to your will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2a. Consider Euripides's sympathetic depictions of women and potentially alt-gendered characters like Bacchus, Pentheus, and Hippolytus.

 

3.72f I must never forget that Iím a woman:

we always walk a tight-rope over blame.

 

representation of outsiders, e.g. women

[3.1e]  Yet there are illnesses inherent in our kind:

it is a womanís nature to bring forth new life in sorrow,

and through a helpless disarray of flesh and mind

let form within us flesh and mind which will create tomorrow.

 

 

3. Compare character in Euripides with character in Aeschylus and Sophocles.

 

Phaedra betrays Hippolytos unjustly but for sake of her children; compare Agamemnon sacrificing

 

 

Nurse 3.74f keep scandal under wraps.

We should not try to make our whole lives perfect . . .

like decorating a closet

[3.76]  PHAEDRA: This is what ruins cities in their prime

and wrecks their homes: seductive rhetoric.

 

3.79 better to choose reality and life

than die rejoicing in your phantom honor.

 

 

6.3 Phaedra: so I must die

dishonored. Now I need another plan.

 

9.2 Hippolytos: . . . It isnít right to hide your suffering

from one who loves you more than any friend.

9.6] HIPPOLYTOS: But is it me someone has slandered to you,

so that Iím suspect, though Iíve done no wrong?

9.9a yet the case itself,

if youíd consider it, is not so clear.

9.9b Look on this light, this earth: youíll nowhere find

a soul more chaste than mine, though you deny it.

[9.9c] I know what it means to reverence the gods,

9.9e You wonít believe Iím pure. Well, let it go.

[9.9f] But logically, how could I have been corrupted?

[9.9g] No, noóthe only mastery I care for

is first place prizes in our sacred games.

[9.9i] But now I swear by Zeus, Guardian of Oaths,

and by this earth, I never touched your wife,

nor ever wanted to or thought of it,

 

[9.9j] . . . Perhaps she saved what honor that she could.

 

9.33c O ruined prince, O vanished purity:

how can the gods allow such things to be?

 

4. Is Nietzsche justified in criticizing Euripides for losing the mythic and Dionysian grandeur of Aeschylus & Sophocles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1a. Since Nietzsche (ch. 11) describes Euripides as the death of tragedy and the birth of New Attic Comedy (the forerunner of the sit-com), how and where is Hippolytus either comic or almost comic?

Hippolytos's oath as "mistaken identity"? 5.10

5.15 Hippolytos as comic excess in aversion to women?

1a. Since Nietzsche (ch. 11) describes Euripides as the death of tragedy and the birth of New Attic Comedy (the forerunner of the sit-com), how and where is Hippolytus either comic or almost comic?

sentimental

 

 

 

Tragedy written by men, but concerns women--Euripides women chorus

6.1] PHAEDRA: [sings . . . ]  To be a woman is a curse.

Regret and pain are all we find.

 

 

 

 

 

Reading notes for Hippolytus

The setting for all scenes is the palace of Theseus at Trozen, with its gates stage center.

Flanking the palace gates are cult statues of Artemis and Aphrodite.

[Scene 1]

[Enter Aphrodite.]

[1.1]  APHRODITE: I am in everyone. Iím Aphrodite.

The gods rule everything: I rule the gods,

People just naturally like to be admired;

why should the gods be any different?

What you see today will show you what I mean.

Theseus

[disrespectful backstory]

[1.2]  Well, this Hippolytos is always saying

that Iím the ickiest goddess in the world.

He disapproves of sex . . .

His reverence all is spent on Artemis,

the virgin silver-arrowed huntress goddess,

 

1.3 today brings him a bitter education.

My plot, long planned, is pretty much prepared.

 

1.4 a yearís exile from Athens as a penance.

Now, you can imagine what this does to Phaedra,

. . . his son, my enemy,

will be consumed by Theseusís own curse,

 

[1.5]  Phaedra will keep her honor but lose her life.

A regrettable necessity, . . . need

to show the world what happens when Iím scorned.

 

 

[Scene 2]  

Enter Hippolytos, holding a wreath, with several companions, one of whom is an Old Man.]

[2.2]  ALL: [sing] Flower of purity and wonder,

2.3 chastity remains an absolute,

[2.4]  OLD MAN: Young sir Ė not master, that wordís for the gods Ė

would you take my advice for your own good?                            [theme of tragedy as learning]

[2.8]  OLD MAN: When someone gets too proud, nobody likes it.            [pride or hubris as tragic flaw]

[2.10]  OLD MAN: But people like it when youíre not stand-offish?

[2.12]  OLD MAN: How is it then you donít greet this proud goddess?

[2.15]  HIPPOLYTOS: At distance I salute her, keeping pure.

[2.20]  OLD MAN: Dear boy, all gods must have their due respect.     [cf. Dionysus in Bacchae]

2.22 make my own prayer here before your image,

Aphrodite, Queen . . .

Iíd hate to believe

the gods are just as bad as human beings.

 

[Scene 3]

[Enter CHORUS: respectable married women of Trozen. . . . ]

3.1a]  CHORUS: There is a towering rock . . .  our cityís daughters

were gathered round t. . .  made

aware our queen was suffering from some dread disease and dying. [queen = Phaedra]

3.1b she refuses to eat

or tell what makes her so afraid

[3.1e]  Yet there are illnesses inherent in our kind:

it is a womanís nature to bring forth new life in sorrow,

and through a helpless disarray of flesh and mind

let form within us flesh and mind which will create tomorrow.

[Phaedra, accompanied by the Nurse and female attendants, is brought out of the palace on her sickbed.]

[3.2]  NURSE: Nothing but trouble and pain! . . .

You canít be satisfied

with how things are, but always

go stumbling after something you donít have. . . .

Well, worry and work are life,

thereís nothing we can do.

We werenít put in this world to be at peace.    [Nurse as lower-type character w/ comic potential]

3.3 Hold me up by my arms, beautiful, useless arms. My hair

feels like a massive weight

3.4 You have to bear your troubles royally. . . .

Show me life, and Iíll show you things that hurt.

3.8 Whatís hunting to do with you?

[3.9]  PHAEDRA: Artemis Queen of the salt lagoon and the race-courseís rattling gallop,

may I too dwell in thy precinct, taming the whinnying high bred steeds!

3.12a Iíve learned this much from having lived so long:

we human beings should mold

our loves out gently, not

allowing them to sink deep in our souls.

Affections should be easy

to rouse and to dissolve.               [potentially comic, esp. in contrast to heroic suffering]

3.12b They say expecting too much of yourself

will far more likely bring

a sick, unhappy fall

than make you happy. Thatís why I advise             [lower-class common sense]

[3.24]  NURSE: Heís had no chance. Heís absent from the city,

traveling to consult some oracle.

3.26c If you die, then you will betray your children.

Youíll make them orphans in their fatherís house,

and sure as that Amazon queen could ride a horse,

theyíll be passed over for that smarmy bastard

she bore to be their master, and I mean

Hippolytos.

3.30 save your life and spare your children.

[3.31]  PHAEDRA: I love them. But Iím whirled beyond all hope

[3.32]  NURSE: You talk like youíve committed some blood crime.

[3.33]  PHAEDRA: My hands are clean: the stain is in my heart.

[3.53]  PHAEDRA: My mother, that sexual monster, sheósheósheó

[3.54]  NURSE: We all know how the Minotaur was born.*

[3.56]  NURSE: Whatís wrong, dear? Why bring up these family scandals?

[3.59]  PHAEDRA: My fall is deeply rooted, not new grown.

youíre in love, dear child? Who is it?

[3.67]  PHAEDRA: Heísóheísóyou know, the son of the Amazon . . . . [the Amazon = Hippolyta]

[3.68]  NURSE: You mean Hippolytos?

[3.69]  PHAEDRA: You, not I, have said it.

[3.70]  NURSE: No, no, child. What are you saying? This is disaster.

3.72b itís not through ignorance

we fail in our behavior. We all know

whatís right. No, thereís another explanation:

we see and understand what we should do,

but cannot brace ourselves to do it,

3.72c two types of honor, one benign,

and another which makes us act disastrously.

[3.72e]  When I was first assaulted by this passion,

I gave some thought how best to manage it.

At first I tried to drown my pain in silence,

[3.72f]  . . .  exercising self-control. . . .

my obvious only option was to die, . . .

My sick desire would lead me into scandal,

and I must never forget that Iím a woman:

we always walk a tight-rope over blame.

3.72g when the leaders think disgrace is glory,

it makes the rest consider evil good.

[3.72h]  Just this, friends, is whatís driving me toward death:

the very thought I could betray my husband

or my own children.

3.74a nothing strange or inexplicable

in what you feel: itís Aphroditeís anger.

So youíre in love. So what? So many are.                [lower-class common sense?]

And because youíve lost your heart youíll lose your life?

[Here the Nurse resembles the dramatic character mentioned by Nietzsche (BT 55) as the Graeculus, the hero of New Attic Comedy, a cheerful, irrepressible, cunning Greek slave]

3.74d they couldnít fight what happened. 

[3.74e]  But you will? . . . How many husbands, whose marriages go sour,

decide to just ignore their wivesí affairs?

How many sons are winked and nudged towards

sowing their wild oats Ė by their own fathers?

3.74f keep scandal under wraps.

We should not try to make our whole lives perfect . . .

like decorating a closet

3.74g nothing more

than arrogance to struggle against the gods.

Endure your love: it is a god at work,

[3.76]  PHAEDRA: This is what ruins cities in their prime

and wrecks their homes: seductive rhetoric.

3.77 do you think I would have urged such desperate measures

so you could just enjoy some fun in bed?

But now your lifeís at stake

3.79 better to choose reality and life

than die rejoicing in your phantom honor.

3.81 in the house I have a formula,

guaranteed to gain control of love

discreetly, while it leaves the mind unharmed.

This formula will cure you

 

[Scene 4]

4.1c O my country, why do you never

make oblation in honor of Eros,            [Eros = Greek god of sexual love]

born of the Queen of Love to rule the minds of all?

4.1d Aphrodite kindled in Helen

a passion stronger than duty or shame:

Priamís city, ancient and splendid,

is nothing now but a song and a name.

[4.2] PHAEDRA: Silence, women: I think the worst has come.

[4.10] PHAEDRA: Himóthe son of that horse-breaking Amazon queen,

Hippolytos, hurling curses at my servant.

4.14 Her cure for my disease has made it fatal.

4.16 just one way out: to die. To die,

and let death finally heal me of my pain.

 

[Scene 5]

[Enter Nurse and Hippolytos from palace.]

[5.5] HIPPOLYTOS: Don't touch me, don't you even touch my clothes.

[5.14] NURSE: Forgive me, human beings can sometimes stumble.

[5.15a] HIPPOLYTOS: Oh Zeus, why did you make this poison candy,

women, and turn them loose upon the world?

Once you'd decided men should reproduce,

you never should have managed this with women, . . .

live in houses free of women.

5.15c God save my hearth

from the pestilence of an over-intelligent woman!

5.15e plot their nasty schemes at home . . .

my father's sacred bedroom as a brothel,

[5.15g] God damn you c--ts Ė yes you and Phaedra both!

I'll never get my fill of hating women,

not even if they say that I'm obsessed.

They're all the same: they're bitches, sluts and whores!

 

[Scene 6]  

[6.1] PHAEDRA: [sings . . . ]  To be a woman is a curse.

Regret and pain are all we find. . . .

Redemption only comes in death.

6.3 so I must die

dishonored. Now I need another plan.

6.4 Yet I have my defense, if you will hear it.

I raised you and care for you. I tried to heal

your pain with an approach that didnít work.

[6.6] NURSE: Weíre wasting time in words. I went too far,

but there are ways, dear child, to still recover.

6.9 an idea which I believe

will free me from this trouble in a way

that will both save my children from disgrace

and yield me some requital for my pain.

I will not stain the royal line of Crete

or let my husband look on me in shame,

merely to save a single personís life.

6.11 mine will be a special death.

6.13 I will have a partner in my death,

and he will find it educational

to see what can result from too much pride.

6.14c] To fly away, away, away, away, away on wings of wishing,    [death as romance]

where the golden apples swell in ripeness,

and the fertile meadows

bloom abundantly,

 

[Scene 7]

[7.1] NURSE: [from within the palace]

[spectacle of hanging repressed]

 

[Scene 8]

[Enter Theseus, with attendants.]

[8.4] CHORUS: They live, but motherless, and you are widowed.

[Palace doors open to reveal Phaedraís body, laid out, a wooden tablet hanging from her wrist.]

[spectacle revealed]

[Chorus now sings as before, two lines at a time, with Theseus speaking.] [compare opera]

[8.12] THESEUS: Oh family, children, wife, what ancient curse

has worked its way through time for our destruction?

[8.18] THESEUS: What forced her to this act?

[8.22] THESEUS: This wooden tablet fastened to her hand,

will it tell us whatís happened?

[8.26] THESEUS: This wooden tablet cries

things too dread for speech.. . .  the funeral dirge

for the royal house of Theseus, King of Athens.

8.28 Hippolytos has dared

defile the sacred marriage of your king, . . .

8.28 O Ocean Lord Poseidon, God of Sea,

since I, as all men say, am your own son*,

though I am mortal man and you a god,

you vowed me once three curses. One of these           [vowed = granted]      

I hereby now invoke against my son:

destroy Hippolytos this very day,

8.29

recall your curse, or else you may regret it.

 

[Scene 9]

[9.1] CHORUS: And even as we speak, Hippolytos

your son approaches. But oh Lord Theseus,

9.2 Hippolytos: . . . It isnít right to hide your suffering

from one who loves you more than any friend.

[9.5] THESEUS: If only men were stamped with some clear mark,

some imprint to infallibly distinguish

the good and true ones from our enemies,

9.6] HIPPOLYTOS: But is it me someone has slandered to you,

so that Iím suspect, though Iíve done no wrong?

9.7a flesh of my own blood,

who has befouled his fatherís marriage bed

and stands condemned by his dead victim here.

[9.7f] In shortóbut whatís the point of making speeches,

when this poor murdered corpse speaks loud and clear?

Now leave this land at once as one cast out,

and never return to Athens, home of gods,

nor any other land my power rules,

9.9a yet the case itself,

if youíd consider it, is not so clear.

9.9b Look on this light, this earth: youíll nowhere find

a soul more chaste than mine, though you deny it.

[9.9c] I know what it means to reverence the gods,

9.9e You wonít believe Iím pure. Well, let it go.

[9.9f] But logically, how could I have been corrupted?

[9.9g] No, noóthe only mastery I care for

is first place prizes in our sacred games.

[9.9i] But now I swear by Zeus, Guardian of Oaths,

and by this earth, I never touched your wife,

nor ever wanted to or thought of it,

[9.9j] . . . Perhaps she saved what honor that she could.

The honor that is mine wonít help me now.

[9.14] HIPPOLYTOS: Youíll really cast me out, not letting time,

however brief, reveal the truth at last?

9.16 not hearing witnesses, nor asking

the oracles of the gods for confirmation?

[9.17] THESEUS: This tablet here is oracle enough,

[9.26] HIPPOLYTOS: This misery overwhelms. Iíd need to be

a second self to mourn myself enough.

[9.32] HIPPOLYTOS: Itís settled, then. And now my life is ruined

by knowing things I donít know how to say.

9.33c O ruined prince, O vanished purity:

how can the gods allow such things to be?

 

[Scene 10]

[Enter Old Man.]

[10.1] CHORUS: But hereís the aged serving man who left

with Hippolytos. His face reflects disaster.

[10.6] OLD MAN: Hippolytos is gone, or as good as gone:

he sees this light, but his life hangs by a thread.

[10.8] OLD MAN: No strangerís hand, but his own chariot team

has killed him before he could leave, that, and the curse

you called down on him from your father Poseidon.

[10.9] THESEUS: O gods! O Lord Poseidon! Then you are

my father: youíve granted me my prayer.

[10.10b] And then Hippolytos came himself, all tears,

and joined us there, and with him a mournful throng

of friends, retainers, people heíd grown up with,

[10.10c] . . .  he snatches up the reins and jumps right in

landing instinctively in a driverís stance;

and the last thing that he does before departing

is to look up at the brightness of the sky

and pray, ďMay Zeus the Lord of Justice blast

and wither my life if Iím an evil man,

and may he lead my father to the truth

after Iím dead, if not while I still live.Ē

10.10e a huge rumbling roar, like Zeusís thunder,

but underground

[10.10g] And then from out of this huge, this monstrous tide,

there came a huge, a monstrous bull

10.10i that bull appears in front and heads them off,

making the chariot team veer off in panic,

but when they blindly rush towards the rocks,

it herds them silently along that course,           [it = bull]

until it trips them up and makes them stumble,

crashing the chariot wheels against the stones,

and then the chariot explodes in parts:

wheels, axles, linchpins tossed high in a whirl,

and our masterís broken arms and legs get tangled

in the reins that wrap him round too tight to move.

[10.10j] His skull gets smashed against the rocks, his flesh

is scoured along his body, and he screams,

[10.10L] My king, I know Iím just a household slave,

but Iíll say this, and I donít care who hears:

Iíll never believe your son did what you charged,

[10.12] THESEUS: My hatred for this man prompts satisfaction,

and yet he is my son, a family tie

which reverence demands receive respect.

Between the two, thereís nothing I can feel.

 

[Scene 11]

[Enter Artemis.]

[11.1a] ARTEMIS: Hear me, Theseus, king

[11.1c] Now, Theseus, you will hear the truth of things,

and it will be a bane and not a blessing.

This is my purpose here: to make you know

11.3 you have manifestly sinned against

both him and me: not waiting for confirmation

from oracles or oath-bound witnesses

or calm investigation, you instantly

unleashed your curse against your guiltless son.

11.5 The laws of Zeus forbid

that any god should thwart anotherís will,

but we must stand aside. . . .

Though this is your disaster, do not think

it is not also mine. Gods also grieve

when reverent mortals die, but on the evil

we send a plague consuming all their line.

[11.7f] O my fatherís curse, my fatherís curse!

Some ancient evil stains the generations

of all our house, blindly striking down

an innocent such as I: why do the gods

inflict such torment on the innocent?

[11.9] HIPPOLYTOS: Ah!

This air is suddenly suffused with light.

Through death and pain I feel the presence here

of Artemis, and agony recedes.                                    [transcendence of romance?]

[11.23] HIPPOLYTOS: Father, my poor father, I mourn your grief.

[11.25] HIPPOLYTOS: I grieve for your mistake more than myself.

11.32 but for you,

my ruined worshipper, I will decree

the honor of a divinity here in Trozen.

Through all the future, virgins when they wed

will dedicate their girlhood locks of hair

upon your altar, singing a honeyed dirge

for maiden purityís sweet perishing,

and Phaedraís love for you will not be lost

in the endless depths of timeís oblivious ocean.     [transcendence of romance?]

[11.33] HIPPOLYTOS: And may you fare well too, beloved queen. . .

I release my father from all blame,

obedient now and always to your will.

 

 

 

 

 

Bacchae Presentation Six (lines 1126-1431):

1126 DIONYSUS: [admiringly, as he escorts Pentheus from the doors] 
You look just like one of Cadmus's daughters.

1130 you look like a bull leading me out here,                               1130
with those horns growing from your head.
Were you once upon a time a beast?
It's certain now you've changed into a bull.         
[cf. bull(s) in lines 762, 913]

DIONYSUS: The god walks here. He's made a pact with us.   [cf. Nietzsche on confusion of actor / hero & Dionysus as god]

1137 PENTHEUS: How do I look? Am I holding myself
just like Ino or my mother, Agave?

1142 PENTHEUS: [demonstrating his dancing steps]

[Dionysus begins adjusting Pentheus's hair and clothing]

1147-8 PENTHEUS: All right then. You can be my dresser,
now that I've transformed myself for you.                          
[transformation theme; cf. lines 70, 1646, 1704, 1711]

1155 DIONYSUS: Once you see
those Bacchic women acting modestly, [confusion whether Bacchic women are "girls gone wild" or consciousness-raising]
once you confront something you don't expect,
you'll consider me your dearest friend.

1161 [Dionysus observes Pentheus trying out the dance step]

DIONYSUS: Your mind has changed. I applaud you for it.       [transformation theme; cf. lines 70, 1148, 1646, 1704, 1711]

1174 I'll use no force
to get the better of these women.
I'll conceal myself there in the pine trees.           
[sounds like voyeurism or peeping-tom]

1180 I can picture them right now,                1180
in the woods, going at it like rutting birds,
clutching each other as they make sweet love.  
[Pentheus reveals sexual interest in group he sought to repress]

1192 Follow me. I'm the guide who'll rescue you.
When you return someone else will bring you back.

PENTHEUS: That will be my mother.        [foreshadowing]

1197 DIONYSUS: [continuing]. . . in your mother's arms.       [foreshadowing]

1198 PENTHEUS: You've really made up your mind to spoil me.

DIONYSUS: To spoil you? That's true, but in my own way.                  [irony]

PENTHEUS: Then I'll be off to get what I deserve.                      1200

1201 DIONYSUS: [speaking in the direction Pentheus has gone, but not speaking to him]
You fearful, terrifying manóon your way
to horrific suffering.

1210 CHORUS 1: Up now, you hounds of madness,  [hounds of madness = maenads as furies?]   1210
go up now into the mountains,
go where Cadmus's daughters
keep their company of worshippers,
goad them into furious revenge
against that man, that raving spy,
all dressed up in his women's clothes,
so keen to glimpse the Maenads.

1230 CHORUS: Let justice manifest itselfó                                           1230
let justice march, sword in hand,
to stab him in the throat,
that godless, lawless man,

1265 cast your deadly noose upon
that hunter of the Bacchae,
as the group of Maenads brings him down.

[Enter Second Messenger, one of Pentheus's attendants]

1278 SECOND MESSENGER: Pentheus, child of Echion, is dead.

CHORUS: O my lord Bromius,
Now your divine greatness
is here made manifest!                                                                      1280

SECOND MESSENGER: What are you saying? Why that song?
Women, how can you now rejoice like this
for the death of one who was my master?

CHORUS LEADER: We're strangers here in Thebes,

1291 CHORUS: Dionysus, oh Dionysus,
he's the one with power over meó
not Thebes.

1305 The stranger was our guide, scouting the way.           [The stranger = Dionysus]

1309 a valley there shut in by cliffs.
Through it refreshing waters flowed, with pines                                   1310
providing shade. The Maenads sat there,
their hands all busy with delightful workó

1321 on that hill, a pine tree stands.
If I climbed that, I might see those women,
and witness the disgraceful things they do."
Then I saw that stranger work a marvel.
He seized that pine tree's topmost branchó
it stretched up to heavenóand brought it down,
pulling it to the dark earth, bending it
as if it were a bow

1336 So that pine
towered straight up to heaven, with my king           
 [my king = Pentheus]
perched on its back.

1342 some voiceóI guess it was Dionysusó
cried out from the sky, "Young women,
I've brought you the man who laughed at you,
who ridiculed my rites. Now punish him!"
As he shouted this, a dreadful fire arose,
blazing between the earth and heaven.

1357 His mother Agave with both her sisters
and all the Bacchae charged straight through
the valley, the torrents, the mountain cliffs,
pushed to a god-inspired frenzy.                                                             1360 

1375 catch the climbing beast up there,
stop him making our god's secret dances known."
Thousands of hands grabbed the tree and pulled.
They yanked it from the ground. Pentheus fell,
crashing to earth down from his lofty perch,
screaming in distress

1382 His priestess mother first began the slaughter.  [his priestess mother = Agave, Pentheus's mother
She hurled herself at him. Pentheus tore off
his headband, untying it from his head,
so wretched Agave would recognize him,
so she wouldn't kill him. Touching her cheek,
he cried out, "It's me, mother, Pentheus,
your child. You gave birth to me

1391 But Agave was foaming at the mouth,
eyes rolling in their sockets, her mind not set
on what she ought to thinkóshe didn't listenó
she was possessed, in a Bacchic frenzy.

1397 tore his shoulder out. The strength she hadó
it was not her own. The god put power
into those hands of hers. Meanwhile Ino,
her sister, went at the other side,                                                       1400
ripping off chunks of Pentheus's flesh,
while Autonoe and all the Bacchae, 
the whole crowd of them, attacked as well,
all of them howling out together.

1405 The women cried in triumphó
one brandished an arm, another held a footó
complete with hunting bootóthe women's nails
tore his ribs apart. Their hands grew bloody,
tossing bits of his flesh back and forth, for fun.                                1410

1414 As for the poor victim's head, his mother
stumbled on it. Her hands picked it up,
then stuck it on a thyrsus, at the tip.

1420 She's coming here, inside these very walls,                                     1420

1427 The best thing is to keep one's mind controlled, 
and worship all that comes down from the gods.