Bakkhai (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) by Euripides, Reginald Gibbons, Charles Segal

By Euripides, Reginald Gibbons, Charles Segal

Looked by means of many as Euripides' masterpiece, Bakkhai is a robust exam of spiritual ecstasy and the resistance to it. a decision 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 vital textual content of Greek tragedy.

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Both scenes enact a kind of Dionysiac maternity, redirecting maternal energy from culture to nature in a generosity that breaks down the boundaries between human and animal. The women leave their traditional and socially useful roles in the patriarchal household for a supernatural communion with nature in an all-female society in the wild. Yet to come is the nightmarish perversion of female roles when the mother kills her son and takes him back into her own body in the Dionysiac feast (1338-39).

The work has also been sustained by the loving support of my wife, Nancy Jones, and enriched by the imaginative transformations of Greek myth by my daughter Cora, who has made Semele a household word in ways that Euripides would never have foreseen. Cambridge, Mass. August 2000 32 CHARLES SEGAL ON THE T R A N S L A T I O N THE TEXT I have based this translation on the editions of the Greek text by E. R. Dodds (1960) and Richard Seaford (1996), on reference to translations by classicists, including those by Seaford himself, Stephen Esposito, William Arrowsmith, and others, on the extensive scholarship in Dodds's notes to his edition, and on Charles Segal's Dionysiac Poetics and Euripides' Bacchae (1997) and his specific suggestions for this new version of the play.

Euripides spares us none of the horror. Pentheus begs in vain for mercy as he stares up into Agaue's rolling eyes and foaming mouth; the maenads play ball with the torn flesh; and Agaue finally carries the head impaled on the top of her thyrsos and parades it over the mountain as a triumphant huntress (1263-1301). The Messenger ends with a few lines of cautious generalization about moderation, good sense, and piety toward the gods (1302-7). In the studied symmetries of this play, these lines correspond to the First Messenger's closing generalizations about the blessings of Dionysos (882-88).

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