Make Thebes Great Again: The Bacchae of Euripides in the Age of Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzes how two recent productions of the Bacchae in the USA—by the SITI Company and the Classical Theatre of Harlem—activated Euripidean themes that confront the politics and rhetoric of Donald Trump. Through various interventions and adaptations, the ancient tragedy yields contemporary resonances: patriarchal control and authoritarianism are constructed and sustained by manufacturing threats posed by marauding bands of foreigners, even as the haunting denouement reveals that the most destructive perils reside within. In the drama as in Trump’s ascendency, political domination is pursued through performances that reorient illusion and reality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-528
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Dionysus
  • Donald Trump
  • Euripides’ Bacchae
  • Performance
  • Tragedy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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