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A Presentation of. Dionysus & Theater. Man’s benefactor -- Man's destroyer. Le Qi March 20, 2000. Spheres of Influence:. God of wine God of wild nature God of ecstatic possession God of dance God of mask and illusions God of “pleasurable” afterlives. Source: A Show for Dionysus.

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A presentation of
A Presentation of

Dionysus & Theater

Man’s benefactor -- Man's destroyer

Le Qi March 20, 2000

Spheres of influence
Spheres of Influence:

  • God of wine

  • God of wild nature

  • God of ecstatic possession

  • God of dance

  • God of mask and illusions

  • God of “pleasurable” afterlives

Source: A Show for Dionysus

Split personality binary opposition
Split personality/Binary Opposition

  • Male vs. female

  • Joy from freedom vs. savage brutality

  • Man’s blessing vs. Man’s ruin

Because his “product” wine can make you both happy and sad

The great dionysia
The Great Dionysia

-- To purify emotions

  • The poets were the prophets and priests

  • Actors and singers took part in the sacred performances

  • All ordinary business was stopped

  • No one could be put into prison (?????)

The greatest poetry in Greece was written in tragic plays and was never equaled except by Shakespeare.

-- http://www.dl.ket.org/latin1/mythology/1deities/gods/lesser/dionysus.htm

The theater
The Theater

  • Developed from the ceremonial worship

  • Public in nature

  • The focal point:level, circular space at the foot of a hill

  • Orchstra: auditorium raised in a large semicircle

  • Skne(SP?):A building where actors change custom

  • Proskenion: Between Orchstra & Skne, the stage


But but why dionysus
But, but…why Dionysus??

  • Most plays don't contain too much reference to Dionysus – except the Bacchae!!

“Theater had nothing to do with Dionysus."

--Some Ignorant Athenian

Spheres of influence1

Let’s revisit…

Spheres of influence

God of wine

God of wild nature

God of ecstatic possession

God of dance

God of mask and illusions

God of “pleasurable” afterlives


Showed mostly

Which meant



“Goat Song”

And goats

Sacrificed in his cult

That were

were the sacred animals to Dionysus

Thus, tragedy theater could have been originated with the song sung during the sacrifices to Dionysus.






AND Finally…http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/image?arch=1990.01.0377&type=vase