Teacher Guide

The Bacchae Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Bacchae

The Bacchae is one of Euripides' final plays and is considered his greatest work. It premiered in Athens in 405 BC, shortly after his death, and was awarded first prize in the Dionysia Theatre Festival. This was near the end of the Peloponnesian War, which greatly weakened Athens's position in the ancient world. Spartan oligarchs now ruled the once-democratic city, and it was a time of great social and political change for Athens. The Bacchae is a play of opposing dualities and complex perceptions of right and wrong. Unlike many other Greek tragedies, it is not clear in the end what moral Euripides is trying to convey, if there is one at all.

Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry, is a...

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