Muses in popular culture

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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.

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

The Nine Muses[edit]

Popular music[edit]

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

Film and television[edit]

  • 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.

Calliope[edit]

Literature[edit]

Film and television[edit]

  • 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. She was voiced by Tony Award winner Lillias White, who reprised the role in the subsequent TV series.
  • In 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.
  • In episode 126 ("Out of Sync") from the animated series Cyberchase, Calliope plays her lyre and she's 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 anime series Guilty Crown, main character Inori Yuzuriha is best known for her song Euterpe.
  • In Supernatural episode "Fan Fiction" Calliope appears as the antagonist.

Theater[edit]

  • 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.

Clio[edit]

Erato[edit]

Melpomene[edit]

Polyhymnia[edit]

Terpsichore[edit]

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

Literature[edit]

  • 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 television[edit]

Theater[edit]

  • 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.

Thalia[edit]

  • 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 a short and plump, she has the deepest voice amongst the five Muses depicted and true to nature, often 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.

References[edit]