38 pages 1 hour read



Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 422

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Important Quotes

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“O Bromius, thanks to you, my troubles are as many now

As in my youth when my body still was strong!”

(Lines 1-2)

In the first lines of the play, Silenus addresses Dionysus (“Bromius” is another name for Dionysus) in a reproachful manner that is suggestive of the close and familiar relationship between the god and his worshiper. Silenus’s tone also heralds his self-aggrandizing use of language, with Silenus making a dubious reference to “when my body still was strong.”

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“What? How can you dance like that?

Do you think you’re mustered at Bacchus’ feast

And swaggering your sexy way with lyre music

To the halls of Althaea?”

(Lines 37-40)

As the Chorus of satyrs comes on stage, Silenus rebukes them for their joyful dancing, hinting at the stage action that would have unfolded before the original viewers of the play. Silenus evokes the contexts in which satyrs were usually seen by referring to “Bacchus’ feast” and “lyre music.” The satyrs, like Silenus, long for the ease of their lost life, and have a hard time adjusting to the harsh realities of the Cyclopes’ world.

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“No Bacchus here! Not here the dance,

Or the women whirling the thyrsus,

Or the timbrels shaken,

Where the springs of water rill up!”

(Lines 63-66)

The Chorus of satyrs lament the life they have lost, remembering fondly the performing arts associated with Dionysus. These include women dancing with the thyrsus, a pinecone-tipped staff, and the timbrels, or tambourines—instruments of revelry. The vivid descriptive imagery of these lines connects the satyrs and Dionysus to a natural world in