THE BACCHAE retold by Sirish Rao & Gita Wolf, illustrated by Indrapramit Roy / 28 pages / Hardback 279x216mm / Handcrafted book
This book re-tells the autumnal tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides.
Background : The Dionysus in Euripides' tale is a young god, angry that his mortal family, the royal house of Cadmus, has denied him a place of honor as a deity.
His mother, Semele, was a mistress of Zeus, and while pregnant, she was killed by Zeus's jealous wife Hera. At the moment of her death however, Hermes swoops down and saves the unborn Dionysus. To hide the baby from Hera, Zeus has the fetus sewn up in his thigh until the baby is grown. However, Semele's family - including her sister Agave, refuse to believe that Dionysus is the son of Zeus, and the young god is spurned in his home. He has traveled throughout Asia and other foreign lands, gathering a cult of female worshippers (Bacchantes), and at the start of the play has returned to take revenge on the house of Cadmus, disguised as a blond stranger. He has driven the women of Thebes, including his aunts, into an ecstatic frenzy, sending them dancing and hunting on Mount Cithaeron, much to the horror of their families. Complicating matters, his cousin, the young king Pentheus, has declared a ban on the worship of Dionysus throughout Thebes.