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The Bacchae

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,410 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
From the renowned contemporary American poet C. K. Williams comes this fluent and accessible version of the great tragedy by Euripides.

This book includes an introduction by Martha Nussbaum.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 23rd 1990 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published -405)
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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.
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!
Nov 13, 2015 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
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
Moira Russell, I don't know why Elvis's mugshot is on the cover either.
Jan 02, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
Wait! Oh! I get it! Two weeks later, I suddenly figured out what this play means. Or anyway what it means to me, which is just as good. It's Antigone on PCP.

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 essential
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.
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.
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--
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
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
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
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
David Sarkies
Mar 20, 2014 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
Apr 06, 2013 Vendela rated it it was amazing
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
André Shart
Admirável a profundidade atingida por Eurípides nest’As Bacantes.

Uma peça fortemente complexa e problemática, quase perturbante do ponto de vista cénico (entenda-se gráfico), em que o manifesto racionalismo do poeta, por oposição aos dois outros grandes dramaturgos do mundo helénico, não causa o mais pequeno incómodo, antes o sobreleva.

Resta-me continuar a explorar a sua obra, assim como a dos demais pensadores clássicos. O mais difícil é, sem dúvida, decidir para onde me voltar!
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
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.
Dec 31, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, misery unmeasured, sight intolerable!
Oh, bloody deed enacted by most pitiable hands!
What noble prize is this you lay at the gods’ feet,
Calling the city, and me, to a banquet? Your wretchedness
Demands the bitterest tears; but mine is next to yours.
Dionysus has dealt justly, but pursued justice
Too far; born of my blood, he has destroyed my house.
In The Bacchae, the young god Dionysus returns to his home in Thebes in order to take revenge on his family for denying his divinity. His mor
Jul 28, 2014 sabisteb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
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.
Am I drinking red wine while reading this? Well, yes, I am :-)

Jeez...can we say double standard??
"Whenever women at some banquet
start to take pleasure in the gleaming wine,
I say there’s nothing healthy in their worshipping."

Didn’t I say someone would release me—
or did you miss that part?"
I love the snarkiness. The translation I am reading (Ian Johnston Vancouver Island University) is very colloquial, but isn't that more fun than:
Don't you remember?
Someone, I said, would s
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!
Carla D.
Opinião completa no blog Pepita Mágica:

Não é das minhas tragédias favoritas, de longe, mas não deixa de ser interessante e incrivelmente bem estruturada. Confesso que adoraria ter visto a representação destas peças (e falo não apenas d’As Bacantes, mas também de Medeia, Oresteia, Rei Édipo, entre outros) tal como eram levadas à cena na Antiguidade, naqueles teatros fantásticos da época. É sempre bom conhecer um pouco da história da Humanidade, e eu s
Oct 26, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so more stood out to me about Euripides than this particular play. Perhaps it's because I can imagine henderson acting out the actions so many times, know what happens (as the greeks themselves must have -- at least, the general outline), etc. But in storyline and method of action it felt like another nicely writ, clean-cut greek tragedy. You know, with the tragic hero[es], their fatal flaw, punishment beyond what is warranted, recognition/reversal, offstage spectacle... (catharsis less so ...more
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
Peter Kerry Powers
I started reading this provoked by Terry Eagleton's very interesting chapter on terrorism and civilization in "Holy Terror"--a chapter in significant part devoted to the interpenetration of terror and tragedy. I was struck, oddly enough, by how our literary tastes in modernity have so profoundly shifted in our suspicion and disdain for the supernatural and the horrific. Zombies and gods or genies all alike are likely signs of literary inferiority except perhaps for the literary sophisticate who ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Williwaw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Euripides doesn't reveal too much about his various characters in the Bacchae, which is odd because I think he's usually valued for exposing the emotions and humanity of his characters. Pentheus's character seems to be the most well-drawn. One thing that interested me quite a bit was how straight-laced he was, sexually. He wanted to spy on the Maenads, but he was too ashamed to be seen in town, dressed as a woman (which the Stranger told him was a requirement for the spying mission). He railed a ...more
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Bacchae and Rock and Roll 1 7 Jul 26, 2014 08:23AM  
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(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...

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