John Milton: Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle

(3344 words)
  • Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne )

Comus is the first of Milton’s major works. It is a masque (an allegorical drama with music, precursor of opera), written for a private performance in 1634 and then published anonymously in 1637. The central character is Comus, the enchanter, described as a son of Bacchus and Circe. His name derives from the Greek kōmos,revelry, and already in Greek mythology Kōmos was a son of Dionysus, or Bacchus. Milton’s masque has been commonly called by this name since the late seventeenth century, although the fuller title is used in good editions of Milton’s poems. The text survives in several versions reflecting corrections or revisions, some made during or after performance.

Not yet a militant Puritan,…

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Forsyth, Neil. "Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 April 2015
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]