Bacchae were one of Euripides many works, this particular work deals with the different relationships of theater to various aspects of society, including its relationship to art itself. Dionysus is the principle subject of Bacchae, is the god of wine and revelry. In addition he was seen as the god most closely associated with the theater, therefore Dionysus is also the patron god of the theater at Athens. .
In Bacchae, Dionysus possess a multitude of powers and can take a variety of forms as a god born of a mortal mother, Dionysus comes from both the Olympian heights which highlights him both inside and outside of the play. Instead of being only a mysterious and transcendent god, he also appears in mortal form as a character within the drama. Therefore, he gives audiences the idea that he is an actor and the author. As an actor he portrays the mortal character the Stranger and as an author he is the transcendent god who has the power to open and orchestrate the entire narrative of the play. .
Dionysus was also a god of illusion, in which he makes several characters in the Bacchae see things that are not there, and the theater is all about illusion and the suspension of disbelief. In one sense the illusion can be comedic, such as Pentheus wrestles with a bull, running around the palace in panic and battle with shadows, on the other hand it can show the more serous and dangerous aspects of the art. For example, Pentheus is shown completely losing his identity as a man and as a king and ends up being seduced the role he is playing. He is so lost in his part that he cannot see the death that awaits him, even when Dionysus explicitly states it. Here Dionysis is playing a role while directing the entire charade and thus demonstrates his mastery over truth, illusion and man. .
There are a few other connections, revolving around practices in the cult of Dionysus that might be made between Dionysus and the theater.