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By Euripides, Reginald Gibbons, Charles Segal

Looked via many as Euripides' masterpiece, Bakkhai is a robust exam of spiritual ecstasy and the resistance to it. a choice for moderation, it rejects the temptation of natural cause in addition to natural sensuality, and is a staple of Greek tragedy, representing in constitution and thematics an exemplary version of the vintage tragic elements.Disguised as a tender holy guy, the god Bacchus arrives in Greece from Asia proclaiming his godhood and preaching his orgiastic faith. He expects to be embraced in Thebes, however the Theban king, Pentheus, forbids his humans to worship him and attempts to have him arrested. Enraged, Bacchus drives Pentheus mad and leads him to the mountains, the place Pentheus' personal mom, Agave, and the ladies of Thebes tear him to items in a Bacchic frenzy.Gibbons, a prize-winning poet, and Segal, a well known classicist, provide a talented new translation of this crucial textual content of Greek tragedy.

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Extra info for Bakkhai (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)

Example text

37 Pentheus makes the wild threats characteristic of the stage tyrant, but for all his bluster he remains an ineffectual youth. He fails in all of the threats that he makes in the course of the play. When he calls out Thebes' armed forces in response to the news of the women on the mountain (896-902), the troops seem not to arrive. When he acknowledges his failure to keep the Stranger in prison, his renewed threat of punishment is almost laughable (909—10): "Will you stop lecturing me and — since you've escaped your bonds — / Hold onto your freedom?

9. 43. See George Devereux, "The Psychotherapy Scene in Euripides' Bacchae," journal of Hellenic Studies 90 (1970), 35-48. 27 INTRODUCTION funeral eulogy contrasts ironically with the death of a youth who has only threatened battle against the women of his household and is killed by female maenad-hunters, not male warriors. At the end of the lament Dionysos appears as deus ex machina, presumably now in his Olympian form and no longer in disguise, and speaks from the roof of the stage building, or theologeion, which is often used for such scenes.

Teiresias, in his turn, repeats his warnings about Pentheus' own madness; and the two elders exit as they entered, feebly stumbling off to make their way to Dionysos' rites on the mountain (428-32). The choral ode that follows once more contrasts Pentheus' violence with the festive joy and beauty of a god associated with Holiness, love, the Muses, the vegetative fertility of nature, peace, plenty, and good sense. ). The chorus utter a brief warning about Pentheus' "unbridled" mouth and lawless madness (457—59), but in general this is a serene and happy ode, and it forms the background to Pentheus' first face-to-face encounter with the Lydian Stranger, whose calm and self-control contrast sharply with the angry, excited young king (547-607).

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