Thus, reading Euripides' Bacchants
after Donna Tartt's The secret history, for instance, the reader will find it difficult not to associate the Theban sparagmos scene with a manslaughter committed by misguided college students on a cold New Hampshire night.
Verrall, "The Bacchants
of Euripides," in "The Bacchants
of Euripides" and Other Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910), 1-160.
Several groups of satyrs punctuate the ranks, but the bacchants
appear only once within this lavish retinue.
Where am I going, how do I stumble, bereft of my children, torn apart by these Bacchants
In Poliziano's La fabula, "the frenzy of the Bacchants
textually recalls Poliziano's own account of the Pazzi conspiracy" (21), and the play, while not denying the empirical world, "marks the emergence of the world as fable, the world as a language construction" (23).
In the version in the Brussels Musee des Beaux Arts, Silenus is one slide of fluster and ivresse, with a glowing spill of flesh, a drench of toppled wine and a slope of silver hair, caught up in a dithyrambic whirl accentuated by a maenad's tambourine; thronged around by Bacchants
who struggle to support his bulk, their double chins slipping agog into their obesity as the maenad dodges a faun's smacking kiss.
Not only does the name Preta ("black" in Portuguese) suggest the racial focus apparent in the title of Camus's film, but the theme of dismemberment also alludes to Orpheus's death at the hands of the Bacchants
, who, according to one version of the myth, rip him into pieces.