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The Bacchae of Euripides

Overview

From the renowned contemporary American poet C. K. Williams comes this fluent and accessible version of the great tragedy by Euripides.

This book includes an introduction by Martha Nussbaum.

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The Bacchae of Euripides

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Overview

From the renowned contemporary American poet C. K. Williams comes this fluent and accessible version of the great tragedy by Euripides.

This book includes an introduction by Martha Nussbaum.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Williams's fine translation of The Bacchae achieves something of what Longinus (in On The Sublime) admires in Euripides, 'sobriety in the midst of the Bacchic revels.' Williams convinces us of Dionysus' power to make a man slip into madness, but in language that never forgets its form and control. Martha Nussbaum's subtle, wide-ranging, and well-informed introduction does justice to the disturbing, transgressive energy of the play. It is an excellent study of the psychological, religious, and moral issues that Euripides raises."—Charles Segal, Princeton University

"This new version of The Bacchae should allow English readers to appreciate some of the rich qualities of Euripides' masterpiece. C. K. Williams handles the spoken poetry of the original in a flexible verse that encompasses a wide range of tone. His treatment of the lyrics uses a rhythmically bold form whose accents would particularly lend themselves to effective choral acting. The translation is accompanied by a striking essays from Martha Nussbaum, who offers both a well-shaped approach to the play for new readers and many challenging thoughts for those seeking to deepen their appreciation of the work."—Stephen Halliwell, University of Birmingham

"Williams has done a fine version of The Bacchae in vigorous, plain language, and I think that the beautifully rendered choruses, if distributed in the manner he envisions, would have great power in performance."—Richard Wilbur

Library Journal
Martha Nussbaum's excellent introductory discussion of how Euripides examines Greek ideas about moral virtue, together with her well-selected bibliography on Dionysius and studies of The Bacchae, make this work a worthwhile purchase. There are still problems with the text, however. Noted poet Williams's translation of the choruses is clearly designed for the stage, containing repetitive lines that allow one actor to pick up and carry on the thought of another. Yet, as the inclusion of Nussbaum's scholarly essay indicates, the book attempts to serve two different audiences whose needs cannot be adequately fulfilled by a single volume. Ultimately, the essay provides a good beginning for analysis while the repetition of the choruses, which are quite striking when read aloud, makes the reader struggle to move forward in the text.-- Marjorie F. MacKenzie, GSLIS, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374522063
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/28/1990
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 528,213
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

C. K. Williams was born in Newark in 1936. He won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Repair. Some other titles include Tar, The Vigil, and Flesh and Blood. He teaches at Princeton.

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