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Feminist Philosophy Commons

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University of Massachusetts Boston

German Language and Literature

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Full-Text Articles in Feminist Philosophy

Nietzsche/Pentheus: The Last Disciple Of Dionysus And Queer Fear Of The Feminine, C. Heike Schotten Aug 2008

Nietzsche/Pentheus: The Last Disciple Of Dionysus And Queer Fear Of The Feminine, C. Heike Schotten

Political Science Faculty Publication Series

This article examines the scholarly preoccupation with the hypothesis that Nietzsche was gay by offering a reading of Nietzsche's texts as autobiographical that puts them in conversation with Euripides's drama The Bacchae. Drawing a number of parallels between Nietzsche, self-avowed disciple of Dionysus, and Pentheus, the main character of The Bacchae and demonstrated antidisciple of Dionysus, I argue that both men experience their sexual attraction to women as somehow intolerable, and they negotiate this discomfort—which is simultaneously an unjustified paranoia and fear of the feminine—through the appropriation of feminine capacities and qualities for themselves. This appropriation ...