John Milton, Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
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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, Milton was not averse to seeking friends, and perhaps patronage, within the

3344 words

Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 April 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5900, accessed 23 June 2024.]

5900 Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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