essemus miseri sine crimine, sorsque querenda,
non celanda foret, lacrimaeque pudore carerent;
at nunc a puero Thebae capientur inermi,
quem neque bella iuvant nec tela nec usus equorum,
sed madidus murra crinis mollesque coronae 555
purpuraque et pictis intextum vestibus aurum,
quem quidem ego actutum (modo vos absistite) cogam
adsumptumque patrem commentaque sacra fateri.
an satis Acrisio est animi, contemnere vanum
numen et Argolicas venienti claudere portas: 560
Penthea terrebit cum totis advena Thebis?
- Identify and explain the tense and mood of essemus, querenda + celanda foret, and carerent (551–52)
- What kind of ablative is pudore (552)?
- What is the subject of capientur (553)?
- Identify the seven (!) subjects (three negatives, four positives) that go with iuvant (554–56).
- Explain the grammar and discuss the meaning and design of pictis intextum vestibus aurum (556).
- Explain how the infinitive fateri (558) fits into the sentence. What kind of construction does it introduce?
- What kind of genitive is animi (559)? On what word does it depend?
- Parse venienti. How does it fit into the sentence?
- Parse Penthea (561).
- What formal devices does Pentheus use to reinforce his mockery of Bacchus?
- Looking back over the speech, analyze its overall design with particular attention to Pentheus’ (changing) interaction with his audience.
- In his portrayal of Bacchus, Pentheus uses several stereotypes to characterize him as strange and foreign — a technique called ‘othering’ (to make someone look different from oneself). What are these stereotypes? Do they still have currency in contemporary culture? If so, where?
- Bacchus demands infraction and suspension of the norms and expectations that bind (a) society. Tabulate these as Pentheus’ speech captures them.
|sors, -tis, f||lot, fortune, destiny|
|queror, -ri, -stus||to regret, complain, protest|
|celo, -are, -avi, -atum||to conceal from view, hide|
|pudor, -oris, m.||feeling of shame; dishonour|
|inermis, -is, -e||unarmed, lacking military power|
|murra, -ae, f.||myrrh|
|crinis, -is, m.||hair|
|purpura, -ae, f||shellfish yielding purple dye; purple dye; purple-dyed cloth|
|pingo, -ere, pinxi, pictum||to adorn with colour, paint, embroider|
|intexo, -ere, -ui, -tum||to weave into, embroider on|
|actutum (adverb)||forthwith, immediately|
|assumo, -ere, -psi, -ptum||to insert, add; choose for oneself, adopt here: to lay claim to (wrongly)|
|comminiscor, -inisci, -entus||to think up, contrive, invent, fabricate|
|advena, ae, m./f.||new arrival, foreigner, stranger|