Bacchae, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


[Woodruff's translation] is clear, fluent, and vigorous, well thought out, readable and forceful.

The rhythms are right, ever-present but not too insistent or obvious.

It can be spoken instead of read and so is viable as an acting version; and it keeps the lines of the plot well focused.

The Introduction offers a good survey of critical approaches.

The notes at the foot of the page are suitably brief and nonintrusive and give basic information for the non-specialist. --Charles Segal, Harvard University


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780872203921

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

I realize it's the nature of the source material, but I hate the fragmentary/piecemeal ending.

Review by

How many insane people can you count? It was written around the time that the empire was falling to the Hordes, and some have said that the actions of the play are representative of the empire's last days. Great play. (Though that partly depends on your translation.) Interesting to see the interplay between the god present and the mortals around him. Interesting to analyze with a focus on madness and Freudian psycho-analyzation.

Review by

This work explores what can happen to mere mortals when they reject the gods; Dionysus is not pleased that everyone denies he is the son of Zeus, so he decides to get his revenge. Bloody and disturbing, with a particularly nasty twist at the end. It has a vague whiff of a church hell-house play, except it was written before the age of Christianity. The play appears to be saying if you ignore the gods, or don't worship them enough, nasty things will happen to you - really nasty things. Some interesting one-liners.

Review by

Bacchae is one of my favorite Greek tragedies. It is a hot mess of a family drama filled with deception, two kinds of blindness, a party in the woods, and good old-fashioned man killing. Dionysus (Bacchus to the Romans) seeks out to prove to his mortal family (his mother, Semele, was human) that his father is Zeus and therefore he is a god, because his cousins and his aunts believe that Semele lied about his father and died as a result of that lie. Dionysus and other characters undergo various disguises, putting in question what is real and what is fake, as well as demonstrating a very real fear of women who are left to their own devices. It is both comical in terms of those who fall for disguises or disguises themselves, and it is tragic in terms of the violence involved.