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A bold new translation of this shockingly modern classic work by Forward Prize-winning poet, Robin Robertson

This stunning translation, by the acclaimed poet Robin Robertson (Forward Prize, Man Booker shortlist 2018), has reinvigorated Euripides' devastating take of a god's revenge for contemporary readers, bringing the ancient verse to fervid, brutal life.

Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy, has come to Thebes, and the women are streaming out of the city to worship him on the mountain, drinking and dancing in wild frenzy. The king, Pentheus, denouces this so-called 'god' as a charlatan. But no mortal can deny a god and no man can ever stand against Dionysus.

'The dialogue is taut, volcanic and often exquisitely beautiful... Euripides deserves to have his exquisite verse transformed into modern speech, and in Robertson I believe he has found a poet who can do that.' Edith Hall, Literary Review

Reviews

‘Euripides’s Bacchae is one of the most powerful poems in Greek literature...one of the hardest texts in Western literature to translate. The astute Scottish poet Robin Robertson has already shown with his Medea, published in 2008, that he can translate Euripides into chiselled English poetry ripe for theatrical delivery. Bacchae is even better. In the choral odes, sung by the titular Bacchants, he has radiantly evoked the ritual solemnity, supported by assonance and percussive drive, that makes these sung poems so otherworldly. The dialogue is taut, volcanic and often exquisitely beautiful... Euripides deserves to have his exquisite verse transformed into modern speech, and in Robertson I believe he has found a poet who can do that. This translation cries out for realisation by multiple voices on radio or in live theatre

Edith Hall, Literary Review

Robin Robertson is the great Euripides translator of our time. The clarity and power of his Medea is unmatched, and his Bacchae is just as direct, unhindered and fluid, perfect for revealing such madness.

David Vann

I can recommend the clarity of the translation...Robertson maintains a robust and exuberant style. It’s time to brush up on our Greek theatre and here’s a stunning chance

Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099577386

    April 18, 2016

    Vintage Classics

    128 pages

    RRP $24.00

    Online retailers

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  • EBook

    9781448155958

    February 6, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    128 pages

    Online retailers

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