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Ariadne


A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline ...
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Ariadne reflects that the ritual gave shape to the Maenads grief and anger. Does this explanation make sense to you? Can you think of rituals or activities in our culture today that might fill a similar role? Does that justify them?

Created: 05/13/21

Replies: 9

Posted May. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3216

Ariadne reflects that the ritual gave shape to the Maenads grief and anger. Does this explanation make sense to you? Can you think of rituals or activities in our culture today that might fill a similar role? Does that justify them?

Ariadne is horrified by the bloody rites she witnesses between Dionysus, the Maenads, and the resurrected goat. In attempting to understand the Maenads' participation, she reflects that the ritual gave shape to their grief and anger. Does this explanation make sense to you? Can you think of rituals or activities in our culture today that might fill a similar role? Does that justify them?


Posted May. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 317

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

In a way, the recent public protests after the killings by police of George Floyd and other unarmed black men could be seen as a ritual giving shape to grief and anger, in a way intended to be peaceful. Of course such public protests have a long history in our country and others. And as with the maenads, there is always the risk of emotions (or infiltrators) provoking violence, with no Dionysius around to put the goat back together. But without this, women would not have earned the right to vote, Jim Crow laws would still be in place, Navalny would be dead by now, etc.

Funerals are rituals for grief, but do not give full shape to it in our culture, nor to anger that can be a part of some kinds of grief.


Posted May. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

Rituals are often a comfort to people, especially in the face of grief. Religions all over the world have funeral rites. Not everyone will understand the funeral rites of another religion but if they give comfort then they are justified.


Posted May. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 420

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

What concerns me about the ritual of the maenads, Dionysus, and the goat is that there was no closure. The event played out night after night. The goat was resurrected, but the loved ones lost by the women were not. They were stuck where they were, unable to complete the cycle of grief and begin healing. It was almost as if Dionysus was taunting them. I like the analogy with the protests this summer. Those protests, however, were/are followed with action that brought/bring change. Each time we undergo the ritual of protest, there is a small shift in thinking and behavior. I'm not sure that the rituals of the maenads brought this change for them, as they repeated their actions night after night staying stuck in the grief and anger.


Posted May. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 317

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

Good point, acstrine. I wondered whether it was always the same women every night, or if over time some of them left, having found the healing Dionysius intended, and others took their places...The story doesn’t make that clear. Grief can take a while, the closure of a funeral or burial does not end it, so maybe for some of the women the repetition helped for a while. Or just being with a community of other women.


Posted May. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 69

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

Ariadne’s explanation makes sense as far as it goes. As stated previously, the maenads did not achieve closure, nor did they experience any real and lasting comfort. They were condemned to repeat the same bloody ritual over and over. No matter the cause, it is not possible to justify actions that harm others or that cause pain and suffering, to make oneself feel better temporarily. This reminds me of the child who is bullied trying to harm others to make him or herself feel better. The momentary satisfaction does not justify the pain caused.


Posted May. 19, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 118

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

When I read the explanation about the ritual, it really did not make sense to me. I thought it was an explanation that fitted Dionysus personality and his need for control and worked for his skills.

I did see it as comforting to the Maenads and with all the comings and goings on Naxos that some Maenads may have left when they wanted to move on. But, the world at this time seems like there were not many options for women in their conditions.

At times, it seems to me like in the Middle Ages when women went to a nunnery when the outside world was too much.

When I first read the statement about activities in our culture that play a similar role I thought of "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" and also Girl's Night Out on the town.


Posted May. 19, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 174

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

Rituals are present in all of our lives. We use them ground ourselves, particularly after death. I think Ariadne's observation that the rituals helped the Maenads made sense. They needed some way to pour out their grief in order to find some way to continue living. The rituals allowed them to purge themselves of their pain so they could have the days and remaining time to heal. We still use rituals (wakes, funerals, mourning periods) to ground ourselves after loss. This was just one more way to find relief.


Posted May. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mceacd

Join Date: 07/03/18

Posts: 110

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

Ariadne seemed too ready to accept the disturbing ritual without giving the matter the consideration it deserved. The addition of the “grief ritual” involving inhumane slaughter may have provided a temporary cathartic relief but also contrary to everything she understood Dionysus represented. Why wasn’t she more questioning inside herself even if unwilling to challenge the god? Only after the ritual backfired on Dionysus did she acknowledge its harm.

Often after a person is murdered, spontaneous or planned public gatherings separate from funerals provide opportunities for grief release.


Posted May. 31, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 189

RE: Ariadne reflects that the ritual ...

I definitely agree that the ritual with Dionysus gave shape to the Maenads grief and anger. Our rituals today also do that. Every funeral gives shape to our grief. Christian church services are the result of grief as well as exultation that occurred over 2000 years ago. I can't speak to the rituals of the other great world religions as I do not have the knowledge that I should have of them.

Rituals may be justified; they can provide solace, connection, purpose, etc., but only if they do not cause harm, destruction, injury, etc. Behaviors that we often see at demonstrations, rallies, protests, etc. often devolve into destruction, injury, and abuse. This includes denigrating individuals, name calling, etc.


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