previous next

Dionysus
The rites are hostile to whoever practices impiety.

Pentheus
Are you saying that you saw clearly what the god was like?

Dionysus
He was as he chose; I did not order this.

Pentheus
Again you diverted my question well, speaking mere nonsense.

Dionysus
[480] One will seem to be foolish if he speaks wisely to an ignorant man.

Pentheus
Did you come here first, bringing the god?

Dionysus
All the barbarians celebrate these rites.

Pentheus
Yes, for they are far more foolish than Hellenes.

Dionysus
In this at any rate they are wiser; but their laws are different.

Pentheus
[485] Do you perform the rites by night or by day?

Dionysus
Mostly by night; darkness conveys awe.

Pentheus
This is treacherous towards women, and unsound.

Dionysus
Even during the day someone may devise what is shameful.

Pentheus
You must pay the penalty for your evil contrivances.

Dionysus
[490] And you for your ignorance and impiety toward the god.

Pentheus
How bold the Bacchant is, and not unpracticed in speaking!

Dionysus
Tell me what I must suffer; what harm will you do to me?

Pentheus
First I will cut off your delicate hair.

Dionysus
My hair is sacred. I am growing it for the god.

Pentheus
[495] Next give me this thyrsos from your hands.

Dionysus
Take it from me yourself. I bear it as the ensign of Dionysus.

Pentheus
We will guard your body within, in prison.

Dionysus
The god himself will release me, whenever I want.

Pentheus
Yes, when you call him, standing among the Bacchae.

Dionysus
[500] Even now he see my sufferings from close by.

Pentheus
Where is he? He is not visible to my eyes.

Dionysus
Near me; but you, being impious, do not see him.

Pentheus
To attendants
Seize him; he insults me and Thebes!

Dionysus
I warn you not to bind me, since I am in my senses and you are not.

Pentheus
[505] And I, more masterful than you, bid them to bind you.

Dionysus
You do not know why you live, or what you are doing, or who you are.

Pentheus
I am Pentheus, son of Echion and Agave.

Dionysus
You are well-suited to be miserable in your name.1

Pentheus
Go.

To attendants
Shut him up near the horse [510] stable, so that he may see only darkness.

To Dionysus
Dance there; and as for these women whom you have led here as accomplices to your crimes, we will either sell them or, stopping their hands from this noise and beating of skins, I will keep them as slaves at the loom.

Dionysus
[515] I will go, for I need not suffer that which is not necessary. But Dionysus, who you claim does not exist, will pursue you for these insults. For in injuring us, you put him in bonds.

1 Punning on πένθος, grief.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Thebes (Greece) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 1146
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: