Let my life flow quietly; let me seek the good, in purity and piety from morn till night, honoring the gods and eschewing all unrighteous practices.
Bacchants, by Euripides, is a tragic tale of a man’s audacity against a heavenly. Believing a god to have corrupted women by intoxicating them and causing them to behave immorally and violently, Pentheus outlaws Bacchus’ worship and vows to destroy all who honor him. The consequences are which follow are not surprising. The form of the morality tale, however, was.
To mete out his vengeance, Bacchus attacked the very nature of women, changing them to drunken revelers and gore-loving beasts. They became more powerful than the men, who fled before them in fear. In an effort to placate the god and come near enough to view the rites, Pentheus makes himself effeminate. The outcome is gruesome, disturbing, and just for all concerned.
An ancient, yet timely, commentary.