Terpsichore is one of the nine Muses and the goddess of dance and chorus in Greek mythology. Her name means “delight in dancing,” and she is often portrayed in artwork as sitting down and playing music for a chorus on a harp-like instrument called a lyre. Terpsichore is not known to have an evil side, but she is the mother of the Sirens. Sirens are dangerous creatures who would lure sailors to shipwreck on their island with their music and singing. Sirens are depicted as being females that are half human and half bird.
Muses provided the inspiration for art, dance, poetry, myths, music, and other creative endeavors. The earliest known references only had three Muses, but this number tripled over several generations. The nine Muses were the daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. Muses are sometimes referred to as water nymphs, who are female divine spirits who like to sing and dance. Each Muse has an assigned function, which includes: dance, epic poetry, history, flutes and lyric poetry, comedy and pastoral poetry, tragedy, love poetry, sacred poetry, and astronomy.
Terpsichore is frequently referenced in popular media. Terpsichore is a character in the book and movie “Shrek 3,” and a character in Disney’s 1997 animated movie “Hercules.” Terpsichore is a weapon that is used in the PlayStation 2 role-playing game Final Fantasy XI and in Nintendo’s 3DS Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Terpsichore is also frequently mentioned in literature by authors such as Herodotus, Dante, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, and George Orwell.
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