The Bakkhai


Book cover

I had read the play many years ago in college, but picked this up because a friend recommended the new translation (by a poet, one of her favorites). I thought it was pretty good, although it was mostly hard for me to identify the choices made in translation, without having another version fresh in my mind. At times the translation struck me as a little more slangy/modern than I would like, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly so. I was frustrated by a couple of to-me-inexplicable translational choices, such as transliterating “hubris” as “hybris”. But mostly, I was reminded of what a weird play the Bacchae is! It’s hard for me to come away from it with any more than very vague takeaways about the relationship between nature and civilization.

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars