It is only an ideal persecution text that would apply all the stages of Girard’s scapegoat theory. Euripides’ Bacchae is far from ideal and complication arises because the theory produces two powerful criminals, Dionysus the stranger and Pentheus the King.
Initial analysis of Girard’s theory points to Dionysus as the criminal. He clearly, “embodies the confusion of differences”. However there is no crime to which Dionysus the person can be tied to because he manifests in two worlds concurrently. Dionysus the god is the crisis that has caused the revolution among the women. Dionysus the person appears in the nature of a foreigner as a decoy so he can fulfill his mission. While Dionysus is the perfect persecution candidate, he has covered his tracks erased evidence of crime thereby eluding death sentence by being the crisis that has brought disorder in Thebes.
The decoy criminal becomes the accuser, citing the crime as, ‘irreverence to the god” and thus labeling the King Pentheus and his mother Agave as the actual criminals. For violence to be executed Pentheus becomes a foreigner to the Bacchants world while Agave as a bacchant is a stranger to Thebes. Stability is only restored when the two have been removed from the society.
Complexities further arise because the Pentheus is both a criminal and the elite. The theory has a provision that, “during times of crisis, the elite’s odds of violent death increases due to the ‘revolt of the oppressed’”.…