One of the most intriguing aspects of this play is the confrontation between Pentheus and Dionysus; a human interrogating a god. If you look at back-and-forth of the cross examination, much of it appears similar to the dialogue between Christ and Pilate as recorded in the Bible. Of course the denouement of the play and the resulting action are quite different from the ending to the Gospels and I would never compare Dionysus and his philosophies to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but there are some parallels there. And if you do sit down to read the two side-by-side, I ask you to muse about how the one may have influenced the other over the years. The Bacchae was around well before the Gospel writers penned their story - did they have the encounter in mind as they took artistic license with the story? Or has the translations of The Bacchae become more and more "Christian" over the years. Or are they both works independent of each other and the fact that they bear similarities to the other complete coincidences?
Let us know what you think.
June 5: Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)
June 6: Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)