AskDefine | Define Melpomene

Dictionary Definition

Melpomene n : (Greek mythology) the Muse of tragedy

User Contributed Dictionary



From the Greek melpesthai, (to sing)

Proper noun

  1. The Muse of tragedy

Extensive Definition

There is also an asteroid 18 Melpomene, New Orleans' Melpomene Projects and a street in New Orleans named Melpomene, and also in Tucson, Arizona.
Melpomene is also a spider genus and a fern genus.''
Melpomène (Greek Μελπομένη, ) ("to sing" or "the one that is melodious") , initially the Muse of Singing she also became the Muse of Tragedy for which she is best known now. 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. On her head she is shown wearing a crown of cypress. Melpomene is the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her sisters include Calliope (muse of epic poetry), Clio (muse of history), Euterpe (muse of flute playing), Terpsichore (muse of dancing), Erato (muse of erotic poetry), Thalia (muse of comedy), Polyhymnia (muse of hymns), and Urania (muse of astronomy).

Appearances in popular culture

  • In Roman and Greek poetry, it was traditional to invoke the goddess Melpomene so that one might create beautiful lyrical phrases (see Horace's Odes).
  • "Melpo Mene" is the name of a music project fronted by Erik Mattiason, from Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Melpomene is mentioned in the first line of George Peele's poem "Œnone's Complaint" and also in Section LVI of John Keats' poem "Isabella; or The Pot of Basil."
  • Danish rock band Kashmir included a song titled Melpomene on their 2003 album Zitilites.
  • The muse Melpomene appeared in Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules (1997 film); Broadway actress Cheryl Freeman provided her voice.
  • In the video game Dead or Alive 2, the character Helena Douglas' fight theme is entitled "Blazed up Melpomene".
  • She is portrayed in Xanadu the Musical on Broadway by Mary Testa.
  • Melpominée is the name of the discipline developed and used by the Daughters of Cacophony in the role playing game Vampire: the Masquerade.
Melpomene in Arabic: ميلبوميني
Melpomene in Bosnian: Melpomena
Melpomene in Breton: Melpomene
Melpomene in Bulgarian: Мелпомена
Melpomene in Catalan: Melpòmene
Melpomene in Czech: Melpomené
Melpomene in Danish: Melpomene
Melpomene in German: Melpomene
Melpomene in Modern Greek (1453-): Μελπομένη
Melpomene in Spanish: Melpómene
Melpomene in Esperanto: Melpomeno
Melpomene in French: Melpomène
Melpomene in Galician: Melpómene
Melpomene in Korean: 멜포메네
Melpomene in Croatian: Melpomena
Melpomene in Italian: Melpomene
Melpomene in Hebrew: מלפומנה
Melpomene in Latin: Melpomene
Melpomene in Luxembourgish: Melpomene
Melpomene in Lithuanian: Melpomenė
Melpomene in Ligurian: Melpomene
Melpomene in Hungarian: Melpomené
Melpomene in Dutch: Melpomene
Melpomene in Japanese: メルポメネー
Melpomene in Norwegian: Melpomene
Melpomene in Polish: Melpomene
Melpomene in Portuguese: Melpômene
Melpomene in Romanian: Melpomene
Melpomene in Russian: Мельпомена
Melpomene in Slovak: Melpomena
Melpomene in Slovenian: Melpomena
Melpomene in Serbian: Мелпомена
Melpomene in Serbo-Croatian: Melpomena
Melpomene in Finnish: Melpomene
Melpomene in Swedish: Melpomene
Melpomene in Turkish: Melpomene
Melpomene in Ukrainian: Мельпомена
Melpomene in Chinese: 墨爾波墨涅
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