This brief account inevitably fails to do justice to the great variety in the Euripidean treatment of human experience and human folly. If the reader has been left with the wrong impression that, in questioning traditional mythology, Euripides rejects the supernatural element in that experience, he should read Bacchae, one of the last, and surely the most terrifying, of Euripides’ extant tragedies. Here he will discover, with King Pentheus, what sort of fate awaits those scorning the timeless and universal powers (”even stronger than a god, if that were possible,” as we are reminded of Aphrodite in Hippolytus) which Euripides recognized as dominating certain crucial areas in the life of man.


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