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Word Count: 685
The gods roles in relation to humans are similar in both The Bacchae and Hippolytus but those plays differ from the gods roles in Oedipus Rex In both The Bacchae and Hippolytus the opening monologue is a god within the city discussing their plans for the protagonist Pentheus and Hippolytus respectively In The Bacchae Dionysus opens the play stating I am Dionysus the son of Zeus ll1 He continues his monologue discussing his anger towards Thebes because the Thebans refused to worship him He tells the audience his plans for Pentheus the one who revolts against divinity in meforgets my name in his prayers ll 45-47 Dionysus is upset because the Thebans disregard him as ungodly and refuse to acknowledge his divinity Similarly Aphrodite is upset with Hippolytus for disregarding her goddess status While Hippolytus doesnt dispute her godliness he refuses to worship her Aphrodite opens Hippolytus much like Dionysus opens The Bacchae by stating her name and cause for being among the mortals She says I am the Goddess Cyprisand Hippolytus declares that I am the very vilest of divinities He spurns love and will have nothing to do with sex p 67 Hippolytus chooses to worship Artemis instead of Aphrodite and so Aphrodite must come down from Olympus and punish him This direct contact between gods and mortals does not occur in Oedipus Rex Instead the gods are seen as omnipotent forces whose divinity should not be questioned nor denied The gods never make direct contact with the mortals they speak through oracles or prophets Oedipus sends people to ask the oracle of Apollo what he should do to save Thebes from the plague and he asks Tiresias the prophet whom he should punish Never in Oedipus Rex does Oedipus or any of the characters speak directly with one of the gods In fact the reason why Pentheus or Hippolytus is able to treat certain gods with such disrespect is because they are
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