Muses in popular culture  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Muses have been portrayed in many different modern fictional works.



  • Calliope is a character in the graphic novel Sandman, by Neil Gaiman. Her story is in the collections Dream Country and Fables & Reflections. According to the comic's canon, Morpheus was actually the lover and husband of Calliope, and the father of Orpheus.
  • The author Nick Sagan, son of famous author Carl Sagan, also makes reference to Calliope in his debut novel, Idlewild. In his book, the main character, Halloween, suffers amnesia after a power surge, referred to as the Calliope Surge. The author also makes reference to Calliope being the daughter of Mnemosyne, the personification of memory.
  • A magical woman named Calliope acts as a Muse for the protagonist of the novel Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff. Though she is never explicitly said to be the Calliope of Greek mythology, she is immortal, magical, and is described as enjoying retsina and feta, both Greek foods.
  • Tony Award winner Lillias White provided the voice for the muse Calliope in Walt Disney Pictures film Hercules.
  • On the season four Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror III, school nerd Martin Prince dressed as Calliope during the Simpsons' Halloween party (and gets punched in the stomach by Nelson, who's dressed as a pirate).
  • Calliope is the name of the daughter of Kratos, the protagonist of the God of War video game series.
  • Calliope is also the name of a female character in Francesca Lia Block's novels Ecstasia and Primavera. These works are heavily influenced by myth.
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess season 4 episode "A Tale of Two Muses," a town of worshipers of Calliope is convinced to overturn their ban on dancing, a dictate they believe Calliope handed down.
  • In the Frasier season 7 episode "They're Playing Our Song," Frasier thanks Calliope for the theme he writes for his show.
  • Calliope was a children's program that showed various animated shorts.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Soul Music the characters make frequent reference to a Muse called Cantaloupe (hesitating because they are unsure whether the name is right). This is clearly a reference to Calliope.


  • Clio (also known as "Kira") is portrayed by Kerry Butler in the Broadway musical Xanadu.
  • Clio is a character in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Clio was the name of a lawyer who was dating shipping tycoon (and criminal) Maxie Zeus. Suffering from the delusion that he is, in fact, the Greek god whose name he bears, Maxie also harbors the delusion that Clio is a Muse.
  • The Renault Clio is a popular hatchback car.


  • 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."
  • 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 and Dead or Alive 4, the character Helena Douglas' fight theme is entitled "Blazed up Melpomene".
  • Melpominée is the name of the discipline developed and used by the Daughters of Cacophony in the role playing game Vampire: the Masquerade.
  • Mary Testa portrayed the role of Melpomene in the Broadway Musical Xanadu.
  • Danish rock band Kashmir, made a song named Melpomene.


Image:Satue of Terpsichore - detail.JPG
Terpsichore holding an Aeolian harp. Sculpted in marble by John Walsh in 1771.


The Greco-Roman mask of Thalia in a Three Stooges comedy short title card.

The 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 also appears in the 1997 Walt Disney animated feature Hercules.

In the Percy Jackson Series, The daughter of Zeus is named Thalia.


  • Urania appears as a character (among other gods and mythic figures) in a comic drawn by Larry Gonick for the children's science magazine Muse

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Muses in popular culture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools