The Bacchae is a Greek tragedy written by the playwright Euripides (c. 484-406 BCE) in 407 BCE, which portrays Pentheus as an impious king, for the ruler of Thebes has denied the worship of Dionysus within his city walls. For Pentheus, the god is a destroyer of social and moral values, and the former has returned from abroad only to have his conceptions of the god strengthened. He discovers that this false divinity has caused his women to abandon their domestic roles for the freedom of Mt. Cithaeron in order to worship Dionysus. Despite Pentheus' diligent efforts to maintain control over his people, city, and self, Dionysus proves to be an unstoppable force that the King of Thebes is not able to keep under lock and key.

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