Spatial Approach in the Bacchae of Euripides

  • Robert R. Chodkowski Faculty of Humanities, Catholic University of Lublin
Keywords: Euripides; the Bacchae; Greek tragedy; spatial approach


The presented world in the Bacchae of Euripides is extremely rich and extended, therefore it calls for a broader space than the place of action itself, understood as a space available for the recipients of this play in visual perception. The scenic action of the Bacchae takes place in front of the royal palace, but this is not the only place of dramatic events. The theme of the tragedy is not only the history of Pentheus, but also the dissemination of the cult of Dionysus as a universal religion. Accordingly, the places of the cult in Greece and Asia Minor, above all the mountains of Cithaeron, are constantly brought to mind. In those places the Thebanese Bacchantes worship this god with singing and dancing. The poet transfers also the tragic ending of the action to the mountains of Cithaeron: Pentheus’ torn apart by his mother and the attendant Thebanese women. The author describes the character of the space referred to in the Bacchae, showing the way of its presentation on the stage, and describes its functions in the text.


Euripide: Les Bacchantes. Introduction, texte et traduction par J. Roux, Paris: Société d’édition «les belles lettres» 1970.

Euripides: Bacchae. Edited with introduction and commentary by E. R. Dodds, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1979.

Eurypides: Tragedie, przeł. i oprac. J. Łanowski, t. 3, Warszawa: PIW 1980.

Hourmouziade s N. C.: Production and Imagination in Euripides. Form and Function of the Scenic Space, Athens: Greek Society for Humanistic Studies 1965.

Kitto H. D. F.: Form and Meaning in Drama, London: University Paperbacks 1960.

Kitto H. D. F.: Tragedia grecka. Studium literackie, przeł. J. Margański, Bydgoszcz: Homini 1997.

Kott J.: Bachantki albo zjadanie boga, [w:] tenże, Zjadanie bogów. Szkice o tragedii greckiej, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie 1986, s. 190-234.

Lacroi x M.: Les Bacchantes d’Euripide. Texte, traduction et commentaire, analyse métrique des parties lyriques par … Paris 1976.

Lesky A.: Die tragische Dichtung der Hellenen, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1972.

Sławińsk a I.: Przywołanie przestrzeni w dramacie Słowackiego Zawisza Czarny, [w:] taż, Sceniczny gest poety. Zbiór studiów o dramacie, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie 1960, s. 129-154.

Taplin O.: Tragedia grecka w działaniu, przeł. A. Wojtasik, Kraków: Homini 2004.