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Chorus Leader
[775] I fear to speak freely to the king, but I will speak nevertheless: Dionysus is inferior to none of the gods.

Pentheus
Already like fire does this insolence of the Bacchae blaze up, a great reproach for the Hellenes. [780] But we must not hesitate. Go to the Electran gates, bid all the shield-bearers and riders of swift-footed horses to assemble, as well as all who brandish the light shield and pluck bowstrings with their hands, so that we can make an assault against [785] the Bacchae. For it is indeed too much if we suffer what we are suffering at the hands of women.

Dionysus
Pentheus, though you hear my words, you obey not at all. Though I suffer ill at your hands, still I say that it is not right for you to raise arms against a god, [790] but to remain calm. Bromius will not allow you to remove the Bacchae from the joyful mountains.

Pentheus
Do not instruct me, but be content in your escape from prison. Or shall I bring punishment upon you again?

Dionysus
I would sacrifice to the god rather [795] than kick against his spurs in anger, a mortal against a god.

Pentheus
I will sacrifice, making a great slaughter of the women, as they deserve, in the glens of Kithairon.

Dionysus
You will all flee. And it will be a source of shame that you turn your bronze shields away from the thyrsoi of the Bacchae.

Pentheus
[800] This stranger with whom I am locked together is impossible, and neither suffering nor doing will he be quiet.

Dionysus
My friend, there is still opportunity to arrange these things well.

Pentheus
Doing what? Being a slave to my slaves?

Dionysus
Without weapons I will bring the women here.

Pentheus
[805] Alas! You are contriving this as a trick against me.

Dionysus
What sort, if I wish to save you by my contrivances?

Pentheus
You have devised this together, so that you may have your revelry forever.

Dionysus
I certainly did—that is so—with the god.

Pentheus
To a servant
Bring me my armor. To Dionysus And you, stop speaking.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 933
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