Dionysiac Poetics and Euripides' Bacchae

Overview

In his play Bacchae, Euripides chooses as his central figure the god who crosses the boundaries among god, man, and beast, between reality and imagination, and between art and madness. In so doing, he explores what in tragedy is able to reach beyond the social, ritual, and historical context from which tragedy itself rises. Charles Segal's reading of Euripides' Bacchae builds gradually from concrete details of cult, setting, and imagery to the work's implications for the nature of myth, language, and theater. ...
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Overview

In his play Bacchae, Euripides chooses as his central figure the god who crosses the boundaries among god, man, and beast, between reality and imagination, and between art and madness. In so doing, he explores what in tragedy is able to reach beyond the social, ritual, and historical context from which tragedy itself rises. Charles Segal's reading of Euripides' Bacchae builds gradually from concrete details of cult, setting, and imagery to the work's implications for the nature of myth, language, and theater. This volume presents the argument that the Dionysiac poetics of the play characterize a world view and an art form that can admit logical contradictions and hold them in suspension.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691101354
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1982
  • Pages: 400

Table of Contents

Preface to the Expanded Edition
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction 3
1 The Elusive God 7
2 Forms of Dionysus: Doubling, Hunting, Rituals 27
3 Dionysus and Civilization: Tools, Agriculture, Music 55
4 The Horizontal Axis: House, City, Mountain 78
5 The Vertical Axis: Earth, Air, Water, Fire 125
6 Arms and the Man: Sex Roles and Rites of Passage 158
7 Metatragedy: Art, Illusion, Imitation 215
8 The Crisis of Symbols: Language, Myth, Tragedy 272
9 Dionysiac Poetics and Euripidean Tragedy 339
Afterword 349
Selected Bibliography 395
Bibliographical Addenda 405
Index 413
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