George Frideric Handel, Acis and Galatea

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Pat Rogers (University of South Florida)

Acis and Galatea (1718) is a masque by George Frideric Handel. It comprised his first major setting of an English text, which was provided by John Gay and his friends (though the authorial responsibility for any given section is uncertain). The work was subsequently described as a serenata, a pastoral, and an oratorio. Earlier in Naples the composer had made another setting for Italian words in Aci, Galatea e Polifimo (1708), using the same plot based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, 13: 750–897. It concerns the fate of a Nereid from Sicily, told in her own words to Scylla, after her lover the young shepherd Acis was killed by a rock discharged by the ugly giant Polyphemus, who had himself desired …

1360 words

Citation: Rogers, Pat. "Acis and Galatea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2021 [, accessed 07 February 2023.]

6860 Acis and Galatea 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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