Study Guide

Muses

  • Profile

    Ever heard someone say, "She's my muse"? These are the ladies behind that saying. The Muses were the inspirational goddesses of the arts, who spent most of their time singing about all the great events of the world in the court of Zeus. In super ancient times, there were only three Muses, but in later years their number was expanded to nine, and each inspirational lady was assigned their own name and duty. Ready for 'em? Here we go: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love and erotic poetry), Euterpe (lyric poetry), Melopmene (tragedy), Thalia (comedy), Polyhymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), and Urania (astronomy). Whew.

    Basic Information

    Name

    The Muses
    Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melopmene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania

    Nickname

    Homer's Homey (Calliope)
    Book Worm (Clio)
    Sexy (Erato)
    Broody (Euterpe)
    Weepy (Melopmene)
    The Joker (Thalia)
    Diva (Polyhymnia)
    Legs (Terpsichore)
    Spacey (Urania)

    Sex

    Females. Lady power!

    Current city

    Mt. Olympus and Mt. Parnassus

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Goddesses of Music, Song, Dance, Poetic Inspiration, and Remembrance of All Things
    Being Totally Inspirational

    Division of Labor, Muse by Muse:

    Calliope: Epic Poetry
    Euterpe: Lyric Poetry
    Clio: History
    Erato: Love and Erotic Poetry
    Melopmene: Tragedy
    Thalia: Comedy
    Polyhymnia: Hymns
    Terpsichore: Dance
    Urania: Astronomy

    Education

    Julliard (Tenured Faculty)

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Yay, daddy Zeus

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Zeus, Mnemosyne

    Children

    Calliope: Orpheus, Linus
    Clio: Hyacinthos, Hymenaios
    Euterpe: Rhesos
    Thalia: the Khorybantes
    Melopmene: the Sirens (maybe)
    Terpsichore: the Sirens (maybe), Linus (maybe)
    Erato: Clepheme
    Urania: Linus (maybe), Hymenaios (maybe)

    (Yeah, that's a lot of maybes… so we're a little mysterious. NBD.)

    Friends

    Apollo
    Pegasus
    Dionysus
    Hermes
    Athena
    Zeus

    Enemies

    The Sirens
    The daughters of King Pieros

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Single (but we all have a crush on Apollo, duh)

    Favorites

    Quotations

    "The glow of inspiration warms us; it is a holy rapture."
    – Ovid

    "Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary."
    – Kahlil Gibran

    "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
    – Leonard Bernstein

    "Method is much, technique is much, but inspiration is even more."
    – Benjamin Cardozo

    "I love hearing my audience breathe."
    – Adele

    Books

    Get ready for this: we inspired a ton of pretty impressive literature. Please hold your applause.

    The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose
    The Iliad by Homer
    The Odyssey by Homer
    Oedipus the King by Sophocles
    Aeneid by Virgil
    The Metamorphoses by Ovid
    Inferno by Dante
    The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer
    Paradise Lost by John Milton
    Candide by Voltaire
    "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Ulysses by James Joyce
    "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop
    Decoded by Jay Z
    Adele: The Biography by Chas Newkey-Burden

    Music

    The Gospel Truth from Disney's Hercules
    What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
    Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven
    Someone Like You by Adele
    Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner
    Stormy Weather by Billy Holiday
    I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston

    Movies

    Night at the Museum
    Dead Poets Society
    The Muse
    Hercules
    Music and Lyrics
    Moulin Rouge
    The Pianist
    High School Musical
    Midnight in Paris
    The Sound of Music
    Dreamgirls
    La Vie En Rose

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Fountains
    Libraries
    Choirs
    Dancing With the Stars


    Summer Music Festivals
    Arts Education
    Telescopes
    American Idol
    Glee
    X-Factor


    Musical Instruments
    Broadway
    Museums
    Street Performers (Except Mimes)
    Flying Horses

    Interests

    Dance
    Musicology
    Studio Art
    Theatre
    Astronomy

    Groups

    Mt. Olympus Girls Choir
    Museum Lovers
    Forgive Student Loan Debt
    Apollo Fan Club
    Aerial Equestrian Society

    • Spotter's Guide

      You just have to hang out with the Muses while you're up on Mt. Olympus. These nine lovely ladies are nothing but fun—being around them is like a 24/7 jam session. They sing, play instruments, recite poems, the whole nine yards. Usually, they're chilling in the court of Zeus, entertaining the big guy and the rest of the gods. But they also spend a lot of time on Mt. Parnassus jamming with Apollo. One warning: never imply (or even let it cross your mind!) that you are a better singer than them. Seriously. When the Sirens did that, they got all their feathers plucked out for trying to step up. But as long as you remember to respect their amazing musical skills, a hangout session with the Muses is nothing but inspiring.

      Sex: Females
      Age: Late teens
      Build: Slim
      Complexion: Pale
      Hair Color: Blonde/Brown
      Facial Hair: None
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: We usually have fun headbands on
      Clothing: All robes, all the time
      Armor: Nope
      Type of Weapon: None

      Typical Companions:

      Apollo
      Pegasus
      Athena
      Dionysus

      Known Hangouts:

      Concerts
      Museums
      Libraries
      Planetariums
      Coffee Shop Poetry Readings
      Theaters
      Mount Olympus
      Mount Parnassus

    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Iliad by Homer

      Homer gives some mad shout-outs to the Muses in this epic (and epically long) poem.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Odyssey by Homer

      And the shout-outs don't stop with the Iliad. Did you notice that they're always at the beginning?

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Aeneid by Virgil

      Virgil opened his poem with a nod to the Muses, too. Don't they ever get tired of all these epic poets pestering them all the time?

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses by Ovid

      Yep, another epic poem. This time, the Muses show up to brag to Athena (Minerva) about how they beat the daughters of Pieros in a singing contest and then turned them into magpies.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

      Dante asks for inspiration all the way from Hell to Heaven.

      Dec 20, 1667

      Paradise Lost by John Milton

      The super-important poems never end. Milton gets by with a little help from his Muses in his epic poem about the fall of man.

      Dec 20, 1980

      Xanadu

      Olivia Newton John plays the Muse, Terpsichore, in this "so bad it's almost good" movie musical.

      Dec 20, 1989

      "Like a Prayer" by Madonna

      The Muses are a mystery to Madonna—at least that's what she sings in her hit song.

      Dec 20, 1997

      Hercules

      The (super-cute) Muses sing a lot of catchy numbers in this old-school Disney movie.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Xanadu, the Broadway Musical

      In this theatrical remake of the 1980 film, the Muse Clio comes down to inspire a dude to start a roller disco. (No really, that's what it's about.)

      Dec 20, 2019

      Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse

      The nine singing sisters show up to rock out the final celebration at the end of this novel.