Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bacchae” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  9,159 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
The Bacchae is one of Euripides' last plays; it was discovered with two others after his death in the winter of 407/6 BC, and when subsequently staged in Athens by his son it won first prize. Few plays have been so much discussed or have been the subject of such exact and careful linguistic study. This paperback version of Dodds's classic commentary provides the reader wit ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 26th 1987 by Clarendon Press (first published -405)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Count No Count
Jan 21, 2008 Count No Count rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, dear friends, is a chilling reminder of why I seldom attend parties.
Roy Lotz
Nov 13, 2015 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of Greek tragedy. But when I attempt reviews, my tongue turns to ashes in my mouth. It’s not that they’re too old (I’ve reviewed older books), nor because they’re so foundational (I’ve reviewed equally fundamental books). It’s because I strongly suspect that I just don’t get it. It strikes me that the Greek tragedians were trying to accomplish something essentially different from what I’ve come to expect from literature.

Greek tragedy has not even the slightest ele
Jul 01, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"[...]το μόνο απ'όλα
τ'αγαθά στους θνητούς που σαν το χάσουν
ξανά δεν το αποκτούν, είναι η ζωή τους·
τ'άλλα μπορούν και πάλι να κερδίσουν."

Jun 26, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Όσους κολακευτικούς χαρακτηρισμούς κι αν χρησιμοποιήσω,θα είναι λίγοι.Λίγα θεατρικά έργα με άγγιξαν όσο αυτό-διαβάστε το και θα με θυμηθείτε!
Moira Russell, I don't know why Elvis's mugshot is on the cover either.
Innombrables sont les manifestations de la volonté divine; innombrables aussi les événements qu'ils accomplissent contre notre attente. Ceux que nous attendions ne se réalisent pas ; ceux qu'on n'attendait pas, un dieu leur fraye la voie.

Les Bacchantes (Βάκχαι) sont une pièce écrite par Euripide (-480;-406), mais jouée un an après sa mort en -405, et ayant remporté le prix du concours de théâtre Athénien des fêtes de Dionysos. Elle met en scène le dieu lui-même, retournant dans la patrie de sa m
Sep 12, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Blood fans
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
Antigone on PCP

Sophocles' Antigone is about tyranny, or more broadly authority: Creon's need for order vs. Antigone's need for personal freedom. Everyone loses, Creon most of all, and your reaction to Antigone might depend partly on your feelings about authority; if you're a pro-authority type of person, your sympathies might tend towards Creon.

Here we have essentially the same debate. Dionysos shows up in his birthplace of Thebes to start his cult, with a band of ecstatic lady followers in tow.
Nov 28, 2012 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-greece
top ten why Dionysus is better than jesus.

10. he is the god of wine

9. he prefers night time.

8. his groupies are ladies.

7. He steals all the town's ladies

6. old dudes think he's awesome

5. when they arrest him he makes an earthquake, who needs to turn the other cheek.

4. he has his cousin torn to pieces by his followers

3. He convinces his cousin's mother she is carrying a mountain lion head and she parades her son's head through the village

2. He doesn't need 10 reasons he beat jesus at reason o
Apr 07, 2015 Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-plays
This is the greatest Greek play I have read. I am just speechless. The way Euripides crafted this play was words can give it justice. The rising intensity, the characters, the writing. I'll leave the rest of my thoughts for my actual review Just wow.
Maria A
This is why I dont go to parties
Po Po
Apr 02, 2015 Po Po rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally insane story.

For those who believe that videogames, TV shows and films are making us all a little more violent -- I present to you this classic play written somewhere between 485 and 406 BC. It contains unapologetic and gratuitous violence. Just for shits n giggles. This is open to interpretation, but I find that the point of this play is to reveal two messages: (1) "Don't mess with higher powers" or you'll die. And (2) humans are bloodthirsty (yes, this is a pessimistic and unpopular v
May 04, 2016 yarrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne Carson's translation really captures a lot of nuance in the story that I haven't picked up in other versions. Very powerful and with a lot of complexity. Her introductory poem is also really enjoyable.
David Sarkies
Aug 30, 2016 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedy
The Ancient Greeks had raves
2 May 2013
We actually don't have a complete copy of this play though the edition that I read attempts to reconstruct the missing sections (which is mostly at the end) because, as they say, this is a popular play that is regularly performed. This in itself is a strange statement since I have never seen it performed (in fact I have only ever seen one Greek play performed, and that was Oedipus Tyrannous and that was by an amateur theatre group). Mind you, Greek plays te
Oct 11, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient_greece, plays
I have been reading Anne Carson's translations of Greek tragedy. Bakkhai is a lesser-known drama, but deserves to be better known. It's theme is that it's not a terribly good idea to flout the divine, as Pentheus does. Dionysos in the beginning seems to be amenable to a wide range of behaviors, but Pentheus goads him until -- dressed as a woman -- he is murdered by his own mother in the presence of the Bakkhai (Bacchic women). As Anne Carson translates, Euripides at one point says:
To live and th
This was all kinds of amazing. Maybe I'm so impressed because it's the first time I've ever read Euripides. (Predictably enough, I'm dazzled by tragedy).

The version I read is the translation of Bacchae by Richard Lattimore (I know goodreads says I read another edition, but I just really like this cover!)

Translation of a work, especially when the language is so far away from contemporary English-- not just linguistically, but also in terms of a difference in epoch and culture of two millennium--
Lee Harmon
Sep 05, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who don’t recognize the title, this ancient Greek theater piece is about the god Dionysus, god of wine. It was first performed in Athens, in 405 BC. And for those who still don’t catch the connection to my blog, it’s this: Many of the characteristics of Jesus are shared with this frivolous Greek god, and at least one of Jesus’ miracles—turning water into wine—also seems closely related. In fact, the late Byzantine play, The Passion of Christ, drew heavily on the Bakkhai.

Greek tragedies
Dec 01, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems that after my constant bickering about the soap-opera qualities of almost every Greek tragedy, the Bacchae would be exactly the same. Actually, I was shocked to find most (if not all) of the conventional, recycled themes in each Greek tragedy not here. It was actually one of the best plays I've ever read.

If you've ever watched True Blood and enjoyed the Maryann storyline, this play is basically the same premise. Dionysus comes to town, wreaks havoc on everything, and then dances merrily
Apr 06, 2013 Vendela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
essentially copied straight from my very incoherent email to a friend and not at all edited for clarity, grammar or sense:

holy shit. this translation. this--holy shit. i'm wholly overcome, i read it straight through on the bus to and from my grandmother's tonight, and i can't--the LANGUAGE. the choruses. the dialogue of the theatrical parts that are so well translated that you understand exactly what is happening and i just. oh god. and then martha nussbaum wrote the introduction about balancing
A masterpiece of translation: clear, easy flowing, direct and effective. What story could be more timely, than this horrific pageant of irrationality and slaughter? Added bonus: excellent preface and introduction. Highly recommended as a gripping, thought provoking engagement with Classical Greek drama.

What is wisdom?
The greatest gift of the gods is honor:
900to reach your hand in triumph up
over the heads of the enemy.
Honor is everything.
Lucky is the man who escapes a storm at sea
and finds
Dey Martin
Nov 16, 2015 Dey Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a pdf from the Internet archive. Actually had to pull another version from Yale for the ending which was missing from the IA version. Two very different translations too. One very Shakespearian and the other rather straight and laking theatrical flair. I prefer the Shakespeare-y version.

I see direct parallels with the story of Jesus in Dionysus' birth and later in shedding his Godness, and manifesting as a human to walk among men. The way Dionysus speaks of his own Godliness when
Yeni López
Jul 24, 2016 Yeni López rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siempre me cuesta mucho trabajo delinear las caracteristicas de los escritores de tragedias clásicas, a veces siento que se tratara de una voz común tratando distintas maneras. A lo mejor esto sucede porque no soy una especialista en este tipo de literatura y siempre que me acerco a ella es por cuestiones académicas o para trabajar un texto. Sin embargo, no quiere decir que no las disfrute. Las Bacantes es, desde el aspecto narrativo, una delicia. Pues si bien, el misterio es revelado al lector ...more
Alvin Svitzer
This play was written around 400 BC, so it took some time to adjust to the language. After several pages and a dictionary on hand, I was able to build a mental map that I used to decipher the gist of what was going on in most sentences. This is a Greek tragedy. That means be prepared to deal with fate, the usual chaotic relationship between men and gods, and hubris leading some character to commit a terrible crime with consequences that are realized over the course of the story. I think this tra ...more
M.L. Rio
Jan 29, 2016 M.L. Rio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a marvelous play and one of my favorites. Anne Carson's new translation is poetic and lovely, but in some places I think she takes the modernization a little too far and some words feel anachronistic and jarring.
Sean Chick
May 02, 2016 Sean Chick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dark and bloody play about the wraith of the gods and the inability of man to fully suppress his more bestial appetites. This is the sort of stuff I want to write!
Bryn Hammond
Mar 29, 2016 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bacchae is the Greek play that speaks to me.
Oct 15, 2016 Mars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*low-key thinks Dionysus was kind of petty*
Oct 02, 2016 alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
imagine trying to recreate this no wonder they accidentally killed someone. anyway I love the idea of loads of women sacking some cities and generally fucking over dudes while they're like this isn't how it's supposed to be
Jul 28, 2014 sabisteb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, play
Dionysos der als Sohn des Zeus und der Semele geboren wurde kehrt in seine Geburtsstadt Theben zurück, um sich an deren Bewohnern der Stadt zu rächen. Diese hatten seine Mutter als Ehebrecherin verschrien und ihr nicht geglaubt, als sie sagte, ihr Kind sei von Zeus. Sie verbrannte (von einem Blitz getroffen) in ihrem Haus. Das Kind wurde von seinem Vater gerettet.
Dionysos lässt daher die Frauen der Stadt in einen dionysischen Rausch verfallen. Der Herrscher Pentheus ist über das Verhalten seine
Aug 01, 2014 Lefteris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-drama
Οι Βάκχες δεν είναι δράμα σεναριακών ανατροπών, αλλά είναι η τραγωδία των ακροτήτων και των πολλαπλών αντιθέσεων. Ο θεατής πληροφορείται εξαρχής το σκληρό τέλος, ώστε να μην επικεντρωθεί στο μονοδρομικό «τι», αλλά στο τεθλασμένο και σκοτεινό «πώς». Τελικά, ολόκληρο το δράμα γίνεται μια ανάτμηση της ανθρώπινης προσωπικότητας μέσα από το πρίσμα της λογικής και της μανίας, αλλά και μια ποιητολογική σπουδή στη γένεση της ίδιας της τραγωδίας.

Σχεδόν εξίσου σημαντική με την αντίστιξη θείου και ανθρωπίν
Sep 13, 2010 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dionysus is alternately the most awesome god ever, the most ridiculous, and the most dangerous. He seems to be the god of excess, of drunken orgies and animal instincts; but along with the sexier versions of excess comes violence and rage and emotion without logic. It is to Dionysus which can be credited the reality of ecstatic frenzy (think arms in the air, speaking in tongues type religion, but with lots and lots of alcohol). When Dionysus begins his evil plan to reveal himself to Thebes, he s ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Stora Läs Bok Vän...: Februari 2016 :: The Bacchae (Backanterna) 4 4 Feb 04, 2016 02:39PM  
Bacchae and Rock and Roll 1 8 Jul 26, 2014 08:23AM  
This text was specifically tailored for performance 1 10 Feb 19, 2013 12:55PM  
  • Philoctetes
  • Frogs
  • The Libation Bearers (Ορέστεια, #2)
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
(Greek: Ευριπίδης )
Euripides (Ancient Greek: Εὐριπίδης) (ca. 480 BC–406 BC) was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). Ancient scholars thought that Euripides had written ninety-five plays, although four of those were probably written by Critias. Eighteen of Euripides' plays have survived complete. It is now widely believed that wh
More about Euripides...

Share This Book

“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” 2913 likes
“Cleverness is not wisdom.” 107 likes
More quotes…