Eric’s Writing Blog

The writing blog of Eric Rosenfield

The Bacchae

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Saw the production of Euripides’ The Bacchae in Central Park, with original score by Philip Glass. It was pretty awesome. Lesson: don’t fuck with Dionysus. We have this popular image of him as a jovial fat man who likes to party, but un uh. Dionysus is a scary motherfucker. He likes wine, women, song and having men torn apart limb from limb with bare hands.

One thing in the program caught my eye, quoted from the translator’s notes:

Euripides write The Bacchae at the end of his life when he was living in artistic exile in Macedonia. … It would be a mistake to assume that this was not a play intended for the eyes and ears of Euripides’ fellow citizens. Athens is dying. It is the end of the Peloponnesian War. Rational democratic government has failed. The Bacchae is a play rich in themes, and one of its most disturbing is the inadequacy of rational human government in the face of the ecstatic irrationality of Dionysus…

Sounds like a play for our times.

What other big themes of our times might a writer explore? It sounds like a cheesy question, but it isn’t and I think different people might give radically different answers.


Written by ericrosenfield

August 27, 2009 at 2:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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