The Bacchae of Euripides A New Version

C. K. Williams; Introduction by Martha Nussbaum

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

144 Pages



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From the renowned contemporary American poet C. K. Williams comes this fluent and accessible version of the great tragedy by Euripides. As the University of Birmingham's Stephen Halliwell has noted: "This new version of The Bacchae should allow English readers to appreciate some of the rich qualities of Euripides' masterpiece. 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 essay 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."


Praise for The Bacchae of Euripides

"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

"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

"Williams's translation of The Bacchae seems to me energetic, fluent, and richly dramatic. I am full of admiration."—Anthony Hecht

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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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  • C. K. Williams; Introduction by Martha Nussbaum

  • C. K. Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1936. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Repair. His other books include Tar, The Vigil, Selected Poems, Flesh and Blood, and Misgivings. Williams teaches at Princeton University.
  • C. K. Williams Catherine Mauger