The god Dionysus, son of Zeus and Semele, arrives in human form in Thebes, homeland of his mother, to punish, by overwhelming the minds, the Theban women who have doubted his divine birth. Only King Pentheus is determined to oppose the god-inspired madness. Semele’s father Cadmus and the soothsayer Tiresias also celebrate the might of Dionysus. When the women go to Mount Citerone to celebrate the Bacchic mysteries, Pentheus is persuaded by the god to follow him, disguised as a woman, on the mountain. The mother of Pentheus, Agave, sister of Semele, and the bacchantes in the grip of the Dionysian delirium mistake him for a lion and tear him to pieces. When Agave comes to consciousness, she recognizes with horror the head of her son in what she believed to be the lion’s head and wore it as a trophy. God’s vengeance is accomplished. Dionysus appears to Cadmus who mourns the death of Pentheus: the misfortunes that have occurred derive from not having honored his power. Cadmus will suffer again until, changed into a dragon, he marries Harmony and finds peace. Agave flees away.