John Lyly: Midas

(994 words)

Performed before Queen Elizabeth I on Twelfth Night 1590, Midas (published 1592) is firmly rooted in the politics of the late 1580s. The play draws for its plot material on two stories concerning King Midas of Phrygia related in Ovid's Metamorphoses, a work familiar to the aristocratic coterie at whom the drama was directed. The play begins with the granting by Bacchus of a single wish to the Phrygian King, and the latter's disastrous request that everything he touches should be turned to gold. Having repented of his folly and been freed of his self-destructive wish, Midas then makes a second unwise choice in preferring the music of Pan to that of Apollo, for which he is punished by being endowed with ass's ears. Though he …

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Scragg, Leah. "Midas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan