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Muses in popular culture

Sarcophagus known as the "Sarcophagus of the Muses",[1] representing the nine Muses and their attributes. Marble, first half of the 2nd century AD; found by the Via Ostiense. From left to right: Calliope, who holds a scroll; Thalia, holding a comic mask; Terpsichore, Muse of dance; Euterpe, holds a double flute; Polymnia, leans on a rock; Clio, has a writing-tablet; Erato, holds a cithara; Urania, muse of astronomy is shown with a globe at her feet; and Melpomene, wears a tragic mask.

Representations or analogues of one or more of the nine Muses of Greek mythology have appeared in many different modern fictional works.

The list of Muses comprises:

  1. Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry
  2. Clio, the Muse of history
  3. Erato, the Muse of lyric poetry
  4. Euterpe, the Muse of song
  5. Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy
  6. Polyhymnia, the Muse of hymns
  7. Terpsichore, the Muse of dance
  8. Thalia, the Muse of comedy
  9. Urania, the Muse of astronomy

Contents

The Nine MusesEdit

LiteratureEdit

Popular musicEdit

  • In 2010, a South Korean all-female idol group debuted under the name 'Nine Muses'.

Film and televisionEdit

  • In the anime series Love Live!, the musical group, μ's, is named after the Muses, and there are nine members, just as there are nine Muses.
  • In the 2017 film Muse, a writer is inspired by several Muses.
  • In the television supernatural drama Charmed season 4 episode 9 "Muse to My Ear", the Charmed Ones must protect the Muses from a warlock who is trapping them into a magical ring and using their inspiration to make the Forces of Evil more powerful.

CalliopeEdit

LiteratureEdit

Film and televisionEdit

  • Calliope features in the 1997 Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules, appearing alongside the Muses Clio, Melpomene, Terpsichore, and Thalia, who collectively serve as a Greek chorus. The tallest of the five, Calliope sometimes acts as de facto leader and spokeswoman for the others. She was voiced by Tony Award winner Lillias White, who reprised the role in the subsequent TV series.
  • In episode 126 ("Out of Sync") from the animated series Cyberchase, Calliope plays her lyre and she is one of the four Mount Olympus band members with Apollo the Greek god of music (who plays the gong), Himaropa the siren (who plays the horn), and the Beast (who plays the drums).
  • In the Supernatural episode "Fan Fiction" Calliope appears as the antagonist.

ClioEdit

  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Clio is the name of criminal mastermind Maxie Zeus's girlfriend. Maxie suffers from a god complex, believing that he is the Greek god Zeus and that his girlfriend is a Muse.
  • The Cleo of Alpha Chi literary society at Trinity College is named after Clio.
  • Clio features in the 1997 Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules, appearing alongside the muses Calliope, Melpomene, Terpsichore and Thalia, who collectively serve as a Greek chorus. She was voiced by Vanéese Y. Thomas, who reprised the role in the subsequent TV series.
  • Clio (also known as "Kira") is the lead character in the 2007 musical Xanadu, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. She was played by Kerry Butler in the original Broadway production.
  • The muse Clio is a character in Piers Anthony's Xanth series. She features as the protagonist in the book Currant Events.
  • The muse Clio is a main supporting character in Jodi Taylor's The Chronicles of St. Mary's series - using the name "Mrs. Partridge" as a cover while working as the personal assistant to Dr. Bairstowe. Her true identity as Clio is known only by the series protagonist Dr. Maxwell.
  • Several Muses are the focus of the 2007 musical Xanadu, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. The story revolves around Clio, who is played by Kerry Butler.

EratoEdit

EuterpeEdit

  • In the anime series Guilty Crown, main character Inori Yuzuriha is best known for her song “Euterpe”.

MelpomeneEdit

  • Melpomene features in the 1997 Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules, appearing alongside the muses Calliope, Clio, Terpsichore and Thalia, who collectively serve as a Greek chorus. She was voiced by Broadway actress Cheryl Freeman, who reprised the role in the subsequent TV series.
  • Melpomene is a character in the 2007 musical Xanadu, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. She was played by Mary Testa in the original Broadway production.
  • Melpomene is a main character in the French novella Anathemae by Emilio Bouzamondo. She is the origin of the tragedy of the main characters. She appears with a billy goat at her side.
  • Melpomene is a song by The Dear Hunter from the album Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional.

PolyhymniaEdit

TerpsichoreEdit

 
Terpsichore holding an Aeolian harp. Sculpted in marble by John Walsh in 1771.

LiteratureEdit

  • In Daniel Quinn's My Ishmael, the fictional planet Terpsichore is a land ravished by dancing, with dancing paralleling the rise of agriculture on Earth. Dancing (in an unspecified manner) speeds up the growth of the natives' "favorite foods".

Film and televisionEdit

TheaterEdit

  • Terpsichore is a character in the 2007 musical Xanadu, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. Her part is always played by a man in drag. She was played by Andre Ward in the original Broadway production.

ThaliaEdit

  • The comic mask of Thalia featured in each title card of every Three Stooges short produced from the 1945 Idiots Deluxe until their final one in 1959, Sappy Bull Fighters.
  • Thalia features in the 1997 Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules, appearing alongside the muses Calliope, Clio, Melpomene and Terpsichore, who collectively serve as a Greek chorus. Portrayed as short and plump, she has the deepest voice amongst the five Muses depicted, and true to nature, makes the funniest comments. She was voiced by Roz Ryan, who reprised the role in the subsequent TV series.
  • In the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails", Harley Quinn uses the alias "Thalia".
  • Thalia is a character in the 2007 musical Xanadu, which is based on the 1980 film of the same name. Her part is always played by a man in drag. She was played by Curtis Holbrook in the original Broadway production.
  • The German bookstore chain Thalia (bookstore) is named after the muse.

ReferencesEdit