The Gentle, Jealous God: Reading Euripides' Bacchae in English

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Oct 6, 2016 - Literary Criticism - 256 pages
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Euripides' Bacchae is the magnum opus of the ancient world's most popular dramatist and the most modern, perhaps postmodern, of Greek tragedies. Twentieth-century poets and playwrights have often turned their hand to Bacchae, leaving the play with an especially rich and varied translation history. It has also been subjected to several fashions of criticism and interpretation over the years, all reflected in, influencing, and influenced by translation. The Gentle, Jealous God introduces the play and surveys its wider reception; examines a selection of English translations from the early 20th century to the early 21st, setting them in their social, intellectual, and cultural context; and argues, finally, that Dionysus and Bacchae remain potent cultural symbols even now.

Simon Perris presents a fascinating cultural history of one of world theatre's landmark classics. He explores the reception of Dionysus, Bacchae, and the classical ideal in a violent and turmoil-ridden era. And he demonstrates by example that translation matters, or should matter, to readers, writers, actors, directors, students, and scholars of ancient drama.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Reading Bacchae Reading Dionysus
21
Adaptation Violence Revolution
39
3 Dionysus Lord and Saviour
59
4 Nothing to Do with Modernism?
79
5 Dionysus in Ireland
95
6 East and West
113
7 These Go to Eleven
131
Conclusions
163
Appendix Translations of Euripides Bacchae published in English 17812015
173
Glossary of Terms and Greek Words
177
Notes
179
References
207
Index of Passages of Bacchae Cited or Discussed
229
Subject Index
231
Copyright

8 Epilogue
151

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About the author (2016)

Simon Perris is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published numerous articles on Greek tragedy and classical reception.

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