One of the reasons that the last scene—depicting a demented Agaue proudly brandishing the head of her son—is effective because it is a acted out on the main stage instead of being relayed by messengers. Previously, all the gory, disturbing and violent actions of the play, such as the killing of the cattle and the palace miracles, had taken place offstage and were subsequently retold to the audience as a story. When this scene is actually played out, the audience is still fresh and able to be deeply shocked. Euripides does not flinch from gruesome touches such as having Agaue piece together the son she tore apart. Moreover, in this last gesture, the audience realizes that it is not just Pentheus's body that must be reconstructed but also the moral of the story and the future of both Cadmus and Agaue. Tragically, some pieces will always be missing.