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.
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
...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)
Lines 169 - 519
Lines 1023 - 1392
...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)