November 18, 2006
WEEKEND SPECIAL: A GOAT EXPLAINS GREEK TRAGEDY, OR DON'T MESS WITH THE WINE GOD
Goat Rope is pleased to continue its series of weekend commentaries on ancient Greek culture and drama by alpine goat Cornelius Agrippa.
Cornelius is the Goat Rope Farm Dean of Classical and Alchemistical Studies. Please check out his earlier weekend commentaries in the recent Goat Rope archives.
It is our deepest hope that this feature will raise the current level of popular discourse and promote greater appreciation for both the humanities and the animalities.
A GOAT EXPLAINS EURIPIDES
OK so like Euripides was the last and latest of the big Greek tragedy dudes.
There were more but the people who came after the Greeks didn't preserve them because they were busy trying to make people stupider and less cool.
Anyway, the one I'm going to talk about today is The Bacchae, which is about what happens when you get into a war of micturation with a god.
Main idea one: that is not a good idea, especially with a cool god like Dionysus.
So Pentheus is a little dweeb who is ruler of Thebes when this new god Dionysus, god of wine, frenzy and other cool stuff comes to town disguised as a young handsome guy.
Chicks dig Dionysus. They go wacko. His female devotees like to run out in the woods and go totally bonkers.
But the dweeb can't deal with that. It's like he wants to repress the crazy unconscious side of life but you can't do that.
Anyway, he puts the god in jail, which is kind of stupid. Dio busts out and trashes the place.
Then word comes that the women, called maenads, are running around the hills putting snakes in their hair, suckling wild wolves and generally having a good time.
Those are my kind of women.
But the dweeb just can't stand that. He was like an early Protestant or something. He tries to go up in the woods to watch the sacred frenzy. Again, not a good idea.
The women grab him and tear him to pieces and his mother Agave brings his head back to town thinking it's a mountain lion.
That's what you get for being a dweeb.
Moral of the story: don't mess with the gods. And like there's this wild and crazy side of life that some people just can't stand and want to get rid of but that doesn't work.
You just need to deal with it.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: OLYMPIAN
by El Cabrero