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Excerpt from The Riddle of the Bacchae: The Last Stage of Euripides Religious Views One important problem connected with Euripides still awaits a full solution - that of his religion. His precise position in the history of Greek literature and in that of the drama generally, his views on contemporary politics, and his attitude towards the purely intellectual tendencies of his own time, are now understood with some completeness. But the poet's opinions with regard to religion, the subject which for many reasons was unquestionably the most important for every Greek tragedian, continue to be the subject of controversy. It is in this respect that the Bacchae is of vital importance to a true comprehension of Euripides. Magnificent as the play undoubtedly is as a production of literary art, and largely as the reputation of Euripides rests upon it, it is still true that the author of Medea, Ion, Hippolytus, and Iphigeneia in Tauris would be scarcely less honoured than he is if the Bacchae had perished. But his greatness as a thinker and as a teacher of his countrymen depends, it is hardly too much to say, more on this one drama than on all his other extant works taken together. It is his last and most complete exposition of the religious beliefs over which he had been pondering for half a century, and which had at length reached full maturity. Every Euripidean student must make it his aim to understand the Bacchae. But the dramatist has taken care that his true meaning shall not lie on the surface. Like Plato, he has consistently adhered to the principle that the real literary artist will never say in so many words what his message is. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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