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The Bacchae


Book Overview: 

This tragedy is based on the mythological story of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agave, and their punishment by the god Dionysus (who is Pentheus' cousin) for refusing to worship him.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Zeus saved the babe, and up to Olympus' height Raised him, and Hera's wrath would cast him thence, Then Zeus devised him a divine defence. A fragment of the world-encircling fire He rent apart, and wrought to his desire Of shape and hue, in the image of the child, And gave to Hera's rage. And so, beguiled By change and passing time, this tale was born, How the babe-god was hidden in the torn Flesh of his sire. He hath no shame thereby. A prophet is he likewise. Prophecy Cleaves to all frenzy, but beyond all else To frenzy of prayer. Then in us verily dwells The God himself, and speaks the thing to be. Yea, and of Ares' realm a part hath he. When mortal armies, mailèd and arrayed, Have in strange fear, or ever blade met blade, Fled maddened, 'tis this God hath palsied them. Aye, over Delphi's rock-built diadem [Pg 21]Thou yet shalt see him leaping with his train Of fire across the twin-peaked mountain-plain, Flaming the darkness with his mystic wand, And g. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I have quite an extensive list of fictional Greek mythology husbands. It includes Hades, Helios, Cupid, and Achilles, just to name a few. One particular 'guy' surpasses almost all of them.

He enjoys wine, celebrations, strolls along the shore, leopards, and dispatching his female followers to cause

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 st

Dos "três grandes" da tragédia grega, faltava-me ler o "mái novo", Eurípedes.

Dionysus is my favourite ancient Greek god. Why? Because he is the coolest, simple as.

“He is life's liberating force.
He is release of limbs and communion through dance.
He is laughter, and music in flutes.
He is repose from all cares -- he is sleep!"

- The Young Bacchus by Caravaggio, 1595.

Not o

This, dear friends, is a chilling reminder of why I seldom attend parties.

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 do

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