狄俄尼索斯的神话把他描绘成惩罚国王或皇室成员的原因，比如压制对神的崇拜，或迫害对神的崇拜(Foley, 1980;O ‘Flaherty, 1980)。在酒神节的仪式中，有一种描述酒神仪式的特征就是在杀戮中追逐和跳舞。有一种仪式现象围绕着杀戮和被杀的人被撕成碎片(鲍威尔，2012)。举个例子，Pentheus的头被他的母亲Agave从他的躯干中拔了出来，Agave在狄俄尼索斯的影响下疯了。酒神精神的定义本身就足以解释是谁杀了潘修斯，尤其是考虑到下面的论点。
狄俄尼索斯的真实存在在于他的崇拜者的感情中，而不在于他的其他表现形式中，这一点可以说比任何其他希腊神都重要。因此，酒神崇拜的主要形式自然是狂乱的群舞和强有力的祭祀动物的食死徒”(Conacher, 1967, p. 57)。
Myths of Dionysus presents him as punishing kings or someone of the royal family for some reason like suppression of the cult of the god, or for persecution of the god’s cult (Foley, 1980; O’Flaherty, 1980). In rituals as presented in the Bacchae, there is a description of features of the Dionysian rituals in the form of chasing and dancing during a kill. There is a ritual phenomenon surrounding the killing and the person killed is literally torn up into pieces (Powell, 2012). Pentheus for instance has head pulled out of his torso by his mother Agave who went mad under the influence of Dionysus. The very definition of the Dionysus spirt should be enough explanation to understand who killed Pentheus, especially considering the following arguments, too.
“More than of any other Greek god it might be said of Dionysus that his reality resided as much in the feelings of his worshippers as in any other manifestation. Thus, it was natural that the chief forms of Dionysian worship were frenzied group-dancing and the sparagmos and omophagia of the potent sacrificial animal” (Conacher, 1967, p. 57).
Such a horrible God who could influence people and make them become these frenzied groups is powerful enough to have caused the death of Pentheus. Hence, the god’s revenge argument appears to be satisfactory. However, on account of the same description of the God, it could be held that the second argument (Pentheus has a role in his own death) would be true. The form of god that Dionysus was, he was able to influence the people who worshipped him. He was a god who represented vitality and growth (Kraemer, 1979). Therefore, his worshippers used to be possessed of similar vitality and growth powers when they worshipped him. However, the reality of the God, his power and strengths were not just of the God himself, it was attributed to be growing from the worshipper’s dedication to the God. This meant that the feelings of the worshippers were a form of manifestation of the god’s power, and hence the worshipper of Dionysus can be identified as closely associated with the God. Thus, the worshippers in a way become the vehicle of the God, too. Now consider the argument of Winnington-Ingram (1984) in context, who stated that Pentheus in being killed as the God’s victim must have been the vehicle of the God. Combining the arguments made based on the God-worshippers relationship, and the worshipper serving as a vehicle, it could hence be identified that Pentheus in being the vehicle of the God, he would have contributed something towards meeting the aim of Dionysus which in the Bacchae was the death of Pentheus. Therefore, in serving as vehicle, it could then be argued Pentheus was responsible for his own death just as Dionysus.