Melpomene (pron.: /mɛlˈpɒmɨniː/; Greek: Μελπομένη; "to sing" or "the one that is melodious"), initially the Muse of Singing, Melpomene then became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is best known now. Melpomene's name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning "to celebrate with dance and song."
Melpomene is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors. Often, Melpomene also holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other. On her head Melpomene is shown wearing a crown of cypress.
Melpomene is the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her sisters include Calliope (muse of epic poetry), Clio (muse of history), Euterpe (muse of lyrical poetry), Terpsichore (muse of dancing), Erato (muse of erotic poetry), Thalia (muse of comedy), Polyhymnia (muse of hymns), and Urania (muse of astronomy).
In Roman and Greek poetry, it was traditional to invoke the goddess Melpomene so that one might create beautiful lyrical phrases (see Horace's Odes).