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For other uses, see Melpomene (disambiguation).
Roman statue of Melpomene, 2nd century AD. The muse is shown in a long-sleeved garment with a high belt, clothing that was associated with tragic actors. Her wreath of vines and grapes alludes to Dionysus, the god of the theatre.

Melpomene (/mɛlˈpɒmɨn/; Greek: Μελπομένη; "to sing" or "the one that is melodious"), initially the Muse of Singing, she then became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is best known now.[1] Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning "to celebrate with dance and song." She is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors. Often, she also holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other.

Melpomene is the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her sisters include Calliope (muse of epic poetry), Clio (muse of history), Euterpe (muse of lyrical poetry), Terpsichore (muse of dancing), Erato (muse of erotic poetry), Thalia (muse of comedy), Polyhymnia (muse of hymns), and Urania (muse of astronomy).

In Roman and Greek poetry, it was traditional[citation needed] to invoke the goddess Melpomene so that one might create beautiful lyrical phrases (see Horace's Odes).

Popular Culture[edit]

Referred to in HBO's "Deadwood" during a scene when two actors converse, at the time of death.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blyth, Charles (1990. Vol. 24, no. 3, pgs. 211-218.), Virgilian Tragedy and Troilus, The Chaucer Review 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melpomene — Please support Wikipedia.
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93 news items

WBAL Baltimore

WBAL Baltimore
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 01:28:36 -0700

... out through your wallet." Given all that, who wouldn't want to put on Thalia's mask, with laughter riding across the audience in waves, approval on demand, smiles all around? Robin Williams wore it well. It's sad that, in the end, he exited with ...
Tucson News Now
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

9/5/2014: 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM: Tanque Verde High School, 4201 N. Melpomene Way 9/7/2014: 7:30 AM - 11:30 AM: Saint Pius X Catholic Church, 1800 N. Camino Pio Decimo 9/7/2014: 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Saint Josephs Catholic Church, 215 S. Craycroft Rd.

Scientific American

Scientific American
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:11:15 -0700

Across the Atlantic, two species of heliconius butterfly — the cydno longwing (Heliconius cydno) and the postman butterfly (H. melpomene) — reside in overlapping locales in South America and can mate with each other despite their different appearance ...
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:00:00 -0700

All 11 of the accused men grew up in or near the former Melpomene Housing Development, federal authorities said. They now each face the possibility of spending up to 40 years in prison. While nine of the men are in custody, Cobbins and Fortia remain ...
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:48:45 -0700

After obtaining a search warrant to download the images taken off the phone, Calenda said, detectives found photographs taken and posted to an Instagram account where Tyler and another man are seen "in the shadow of the Melpomene housing projects ...

The Costa Rican Times

The Costa Rican Times
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:56:15 -0700

“This postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene) had such vibrantly colored wings that really stood out, even against the bright flowers. Interestingly, the postman butterflies are one of a number of species which makes a route of certain flowers within ...
The Times-Picayune
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:19:38 -0700

1) at Stronger Hope Baptist Church near the old Melpomene housing development. They were gathered to judge proposals from the firms vying for the project, Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro and NOLA Airport builders, but neither showed. The city workers are making ...


Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:15:00 -0700

Authorities rounded up nine of 11 men charged in a federal indictment that was unsealed Friday, in the latest salvo of a multi-agency law enforcement effort to crack down on violent street gang activity. Although the indictment doesn't state it, U.S ...

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