TEMPERANCE: The Bacchant Who Never Was
Wild pipes shrill in the air, drums beat. I smell blood and wine, feel the restless rhythm of flailing feet thumping the moist earth. Covering my ears, I huddle against the dark cypress. Dionysus calls me, his Bacchic melody as seductive as Aphrodite’s smile, but I resist. Resist the sagging wine-skin, the ritual insanity that grips my sisters, their grape-stained mouths howling at the moon. Screams grow louder, echoing on the mountainside.
“Kill it! Kill the lion!” And I see it. Pentheus’ bloodied head, held aloft by wine-mad Agave. I close my eyes, horror-struck. Pentheus is her son.
This story is set within the world of Euripides' Bacchae and imagines what it would have been like for a woman who chose not to join in the God of Wine's Bacchanalia.
When I was sixteen I saw a brilliant student adaptation of Euripides Bacchae in Liverpool. It had a young Dionysus (with a striking resemblance to Jason Lee) who leapt with wild balletic energy from scaffolding all around the stage. I never forgot its energy or its tragic impact.
If you want to read the story of Pentheus, you can find it on Theoi, the Greek Mythology website. It has translations from the play.
A Chorus of Heavenly Virtues
Now you've read mine, take the tour. Go on, improve yourself. Nibble on some bite-size goodness, it's good for the soul. You can find a delicious menu by clicking through to these virtuous creatures:
David A Ludwig, Bryce Daniels AKA Poet, Lissa Bilyk, Rebecca T. Little, Rosie Lane, Jamila Jamison, Rebecca Clare Smith, Amy Romine, The Gorm, brainhazewp, Surfing Madness, Glitterlady, JC Kitty, Zade Forrest, Emilia Quill, Kathy, Jeffrey Hollar