The Bacchae

by

Euripides

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Zeus Character Analysis

Zeus is the king of the Greek gods and the father of Dionysus. He doesn’t appear in the play, but is in important part of Dionysus’ back story. Zeus killed Semele, Dionysus’ mortal mother, when she was tricked by Hera, Zeus’ wife, into asking him to reveal his divine form—a deadly lightning storm.
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Zeus Character Timeline in The Bacchae

The timeline below shows where the character Zeus appears in The Bacchae. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1 - 168
Disguise, Deception, and Identity Theme Icon
Gods and Mortals Theme Icon
...rule of the kingdom to his grandson, and Dionysus’ cousin, Pentheus. Semele was impregnated by Zeus, the king of the gods. Hera, Zeus’ wife, was jealous of Semele’s relationship with Zeus... (full context)
Disguise, Deception, and Identity Theme Icon
Gods and Mortals Theme Icon
Order vs. Irrationality Theme Icon
...his mother Semele’s sisters, Agave, Ino, and Autonoe, deny that he is the son of Zeus and dishonor his mother’s memory. They thought the story was just a ruse thought up... (full context)
Lines 169 - 519
Disguise, Deception, and Identity Theme Icon
Gods and Mortals Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...says Dionysus and Semele were killed for the latter’s lie that she had slept with Zeus. (full context)
Lines 1023 - 1392
Gods and Mortals Theme Icon
...asking “should not gods stand above all mortal passions, such as anger?” Dionysus says that Zeus told him all of this would happen—the events were inevitable, and there’s no point him... (full context)