The Woman in the Moon

The Woman in the Moon is an Elizabethan era stage play, a comedy written by John Lyly. Its unique status in that playwright's dramatic canon – it is the only play Lyly wrote in blank verse rather than prose — has presented scholars and critics with a range of questions and problems.

Woman in the Moon
Title page of The Woman in the Moon.

Publication and Performance

The Woman in the Moon was entered into the Stationers' Register on 22 September 1595, and was first published in quarto in 1597 by the bookseller William Jones. The title page of the quarto states that the play was presented before Queen Elizabeth I, though no specific performance is mentioned.

Although most of Lyly's plays were acted by the children's company Paul's Boys,[1] the playing company that acted this particular work is a mystery. However, The Woman in the Moon is thought to have been first produced between 1590 and 1595, most likely in 1593.[2]

The play's Prologue maintains that the work "is but a poet's dream, / The first he had in Phoebus' holy bower, / But not the last...." Nineteenth-century critics took this statement at face value, and considered The Woman in the Moon the first of Lyly's plays, written sometime in the early 1580s. As such, it would have been an important early development in English dramatic blank verse. Later critics, however, disputed this conclusion, arguing that the Prologue may only mean that this was Lyly's first play in verse, and that in style "The blank verse is that of the nineties, rather than the early eighties."[3] The modern critical consensus tends to favour the view that The Woman in the Moon, far from being Lyly's first play, was likely his last, written in the 1590–95 period.[4]

Character List

In Order of Appearance:

  • Nature
  • Concord – Nature's Maiden
  • Discord – Nature's Maiden
  • Pandora
  • Stesias – shepherd
  • Iphicles – shepherd
  • Learchus – shepherd
  • Melos – shepherd
  • Saturn
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Sol
  • Venus
  • Mercury
  • Luna
  • Gunophilus – Pandora's servant
  • Ganymede – Jupiter's attendant
  • Juno – Jupiter's wife
  • Joculus – son of Venus
  • Cupid – son of Venus


The play is set in the world of Greek mythology, at the time of the very beginning of the human race, when the first woman was not yet created. A personified goddess of Nature, accompanied by Concord and Discord ("For Nature works her will from contraries"), descends to a pastoral Earth inhabited by four shepherds. At their petition, Nature breathes life into a clothed statue of the first woman. Concord seals her soul to her body with an embrace, and the new woman is given the best gifts of the seven planets of traditional astronomy and astrology. She is named Pandora.

The seven planets, however, are unhappy that Pandora has been given their best qualities, and decide to spite Nature with a malevolent demonstration of their power. Saturn, the eldest, goes first: seating himself on a throne, he afflicts Pandora with his characteristic melancholy. The shepherds meet Pandora when she is suffering this baleful influence; when one tries to kiss her hand, she hits him across the lips. She treats the rest as badly, then runs away. Saturn leaves his throne at the end of the first act, pleased with the mess that he has made.

Jupiter assumes the throne at the start of Act II. He inspires Pandora with ambition, vanity, and superciliousness – so much so that she obtains his sceptre and tosses it to Juno when the queen of the gods comes in search of her husband (he hides himself in a cloud). Pandora inflicts her pride upon the hapless shepherds: she orders them to behead a wild boar, promising her glove to the man who brings the trophy to her. Mars takes over from Jupiter, turning Pandora into a "vixen martialist." The shepherds fight over the dead boar and the right to Pandora's glove – but she grabs a spear and bests them all.

Sol, the Sun, takes over at the start of Act III; for a change, his influence is largely beneficial. Pandora becomes "gentle and kind," and chooses Stesias, one of the shepherds, as her husband. But then comes Venus's turn: Joculus inspires dancing, Cupid shoots his arrows, and romantic disruptions follow. Mercury succeeds Venus in Act IV; he makes Pandora "false and full of sleights, / Thievish and lying, subtle, eloquent...." By Act V, under the influence of Luna, Pandora simply runs mad. Stesias is fed up by now, and the other shepherds want nothing to do with Pandora, even when the seven planetary deities have restored her sanity. With no place for her on Earth, the planets vie for the distinction of taking Pandora up to their individual spheres; Pandora chooses Luna, since they are both inherently changeable.[5]

At the end of the play, Nature chooses to punish Stesias, Pandora's husband, because he is so easily swayed by the opinions of others. He is condemned to "be...her slave, and follow her in the moon." His punishment is to always follow Pandora, but never to act on his anger towards her or inflict pain upon her.[6]


Most critics have judged the play as "a satire on women," an expression of traditional male chauvinism and sexism — though dissent from this view can also be found in the critical literature.[7] Lyly's use of astrology has been seen in the context of the craze for horoscope-casting that typified the Elizabethan era.[8]


  1. ^ Gordon, Ian A. "John Lyly: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Nov. 2013
  2. ^ DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. Ed. Alan B. Farmer and Zachary Lesser. 2007. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. <>.
  3. ^ E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 Volumes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923; Vol. 3, p. 416-17.
  4. ^ Terence P. Logan and Denzell S. Smith, eds., The Predecessors of Shakespeare: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama, Lincoln, NE, University of Nebraska Press, 1973; pp. 135, 137.
  5. ^ Henry Morley and William Hall Griffin, English Writers: An Attempt Toward a History of English Literature, Vol. 11., London, Cassell & Co., 1892; pp. 197–200.
  6. ^ Lyly, John. "The Woman in the Moon." The Plays of John Lyly. Ed. Carter A. Daniel. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1988. 317-58. Print.
  7. ^ George Kirkpatrick Hunter, John Lyly: The Humanist as Courtier, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1962; p. 219.
  8. ^ Johnstone Parr, Tamburlaine's Malady and Other Essays on Astrology in Elizabethan Drama, Tuscaloosa, AL, University of Alabama Press, 1953; pp. 38–49.
1597 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1597.

A Star Is Born (1976 soundtrack)

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According to the liner notes of Barbra's compilation box set Just for the Record, the album also received a record certification in New Zealand, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy and Mexico. The import version of the CD adds the Spanish version of Evergreen as a bonus track.


Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some—such as the Hindus, Chinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. It was present in political circles and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca.

Following the end of the 19th century and the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged successfully on both theoretical and experimental grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined. While polls have demonstrated that approximately one quarter of American, British, and Canadian people say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives, astrology is now recognized as a pseudoscience—a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific.

Hermann Oberth

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James Riordan

James Riordan (10 October 1936 – 10 February 2012) was an English novelist, broadcaster, sports historian, association football player and Russian scholar.He was well known for his work Sport in Soviet Society, the first academic look at sport in the Soviet Union, and for his children's novels.

He claims to have been the first Briton to play football in the USSR, playing for FC Spartak Moscow in 1963. There are, however, no documents, match reports or eyewitness accounts that support his claim, and many details in the story were inaccurate.

John Lyly

John Lyly (Lilly or Lylie; ; c. 1553 or 1554 – November 1606) was an English writer, poet, dramatist, and courtier, best known during his lifetime for his books Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580), and perhaps best remembered now for his plays. Lyly's mannered literary style, originating in his first books, is known as euphuism.

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress. Known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received a record four Academy Awards for Best Actress. In 1999, Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute one of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the theatre, favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Her early years in the film industry were marked with success, including an Academy Award for her third picture, Morning Glory (1933), but this was followed by a series of commercial failures that led her to be labeled "box office poison" in 1938. Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story, which she sold on the condition that she be the star. In the 1940s, she was contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her career focused on an alliance with Spencer Tracy. The screen partnership spanned 25 years and produced nine movies.

Hepburn challenged herself in the latter half of her life, as she regularly appeared in Shakespearean stage productions and tackled a range of literary roles. She found a niche playing middle-aged spinsters, such as in The African Queen (1951), a persona the public embraced. Three more Oscars came for her work in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). In the 1970s, she began appearing in television films, which became the focus of her career in later life. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. After a period of inactivity and ill health, Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96.

Hepburn famously shunned the Hollywood publicity machine, and refused to conform to society's expectations of women. She was outspoken, assertive, athletic, and wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so. She was briefly married as a young woman, but thereafter lived independently. A 26-year affair with her co-star Spencer Tracy was hidden from the public. With her unconventional lifestyle and the independent characters she brought to the screen, Hepburn epitomized the "modern woman" in the 20th-century United States, and is remembered as an important cultural figure.

Kenneth Ascher

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In January 2018, the new board of directors increased the maximum age of titleholders to 25 years old, from 24. Therefore, contestants cannot be older than 25 years old on December 31 in the calendar year of her state competition.

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Miss Nevada

The Miss Nevada competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Nevada in the Miss America pageant, and the name of the title held by that winner. The first Nevadan to compete at Miss America was Carol Lampe in 1949.The pageant was traditionally held in Reno and currently takes place in Las Vegas. Other venues have included Elko, Carson City and Mesquite. It has, at various times, been hosted by the Reno Lions Club and the Soroptimist club of Nevada.Alexis Hilts of Las Vegas was crowned Miss Nevada 2018 on July 1, 2018 at the Westgate International Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada. She competed for the title of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Miss Oklahoma

The Miss Oklahoma competition selects a winner to compete on behalf of Oklahoma in the Miss America pageant. Miss Oklahoma has won the Miss America crown on five occasions. Also, in the years when city representatives were common, Norma Smallwood won, competing as Miss Tulsa, giving the state of Oklahoma a total of six crowns. Oklahoma is also one of three states to win the Miss America title back to back for two years.

Ashley Thompson of Oklahoma City was crowned Miss Oklahoma 2018 on June 9, 2018 at Oral Roberts University- Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She will compete for the title of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Portia de Rossi

Portia Lee James DeGeneres (born Amanda Lee Rogers; 31 January 1973), known professionally as Portia de Rossi, is an Australian-American model, philanthropist, and actress. She is best known for starring as Nelle Porter on the American drama series Ally McBeal (1998–2002), for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award, as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on the American television sitcom Arrested Development (2003–2006, 2013, 2018), and as Elizabeth North on the American political thriller series Scandal (2014–2017).She also portrayed Olivia Lord on the American television drama series Nip/Tuck (2007–2009), and Veronica Palmer on the American television sitcom Better Off Ted (2009–2010). De Rossi is married to comedian, actress and television host Ellen DeGeneres.

Rich Raddon

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The Peacock Skirt

The Peacock Skirt is an 1893 illustration by Aubrey Beardsley. His original pen and ink drawing was reproduced as a woodblock print in the first English edition of Oscar Wilde's one-act play Salome in 1894. The original drawing was bequeathed by Grenville Lindall Winthrop to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University in 1943.

The Rocket to the Moon (novel)

The Rocket to the Moon is a 1928 science fiction novel by the German writer Thea von Harbou. Its German title is Die Frau im Mond, which means "the woman in the moon". It is about a fictitious moon mission. The book was translated into English by Baroness von Hutten and published in 1930 as The Girl in the Moon. It was republished in 1977 as The Rocket to the Moon.

Verein für Raumschiffahrt

The Verein für Raumschiffahrt ("VfR", English: Society for Space Travel) was a German amateur rocket association prior to World War II that included members outside Germany. The first successful VfR test firing with liquid fuel (five minutes) was conducted by Max Valier at the Heylandt Works on January 25, 1930; and additional rocket experiments were conducted at a farm near Bernstadt, Saxony.Space travel and rocketry gained popularity in Germany following the June 1923 publication of Herman Oberth's book Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (English: The Rocket into Planetary Space) and the expanded 1929 work Wege zur Raumschiffahrt (Ways to Spaceflight).

The VfR was founded in 1927 by Johannes Winkler, with Max Valier and Willy Ley following participation as expert advisers for Fritz Lang's early science fiction film Frau im Mond (The Woman in the Moon). Ley and Hermann Oberth had hoped to receive funding from Lang for a real-life experimental rocket launch coinciding with the movie's premiere. Valier had assisted in Fritz von Opel's rocket-powered publicity stunts for the Opel company.

In September 1930, before Hitler came to power, the VfR contacted the German army for funding. Rockets were one of the few fields of military development not restricted by the Versailles treaty at the end of World War I, 11 years earlier. They received permission from the municipality to use an abandoned ammunition dump at Reinickendorf,[1] the Berlin rocket launching site (German: Raketenflugplatz Berlin). For three years the VfR fired increasingly powerful rockets of their own design from this location. Following the unsuccessful Mirak rockets, the most powerful rocket of the Repulsor series (named for a spaceship in a German novel by Kurd Lasswitz) reached altitudes over 1 km (3,000 ft).

In the Spring of 1932; Capt Walter Dornberger, his commander (Captain Ritter von Horstig), and Col Karl Heinrich Emil Becker viewed a (failed) VfR firing, and Dornberger subsequently issued a contract for a demonstration launch. Wernher Von Braun who was then a young student and had joined the group two years earlier was in favor of the contract The group eventually rejected the proposal and the dissension caused during its consideration contributed to the society dissolving itself in January 1934. The society's demise was also the result of an inability to find funding, and Berlin's civic authorities becoming concerned with rocketry experiments so close to the city.

The only known VfR rocket artifact is a rejected aluminium Repulsor nozzle which member Herbert Schaefer took to the US when he emigrated in 1935 and which he donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1978.

Woman in the Moon

Woman in the Moon (German Frau im Mond) is a science fiction silent film that premiered 15 October 1929 at the UFA-Palast am Zoo cinema in Berlin to an audience of 2,000. It is often considered to be one of the first "serious" science fiction films. It was written and directed by Fritz Lang, based on the novel The Rocket to the Moon by his collaborator Thea von Harbou, his wife at the time. It was released in the US as By Rocket to the Moon and in the UK as Woman in the Moon. The basics of rocket travel were presented to a mass audience for the first time by this film, including the use of a multi-stage rocket. The film was shot between October 1928 and June 1929 at the UFA studios in Neubabelsberg near Berlin

Woman in the Moon (disambiguation)

Woman in the Moon may refer to:

The Woman in the Moon a Barbra Streisand song from the album and film A Star is Born

The Woman in the Moon, an Elizabethan era stage play

Woman in the Moon, a science fiction silent film

Woman in the Moon (1988 film), a romance film starring Greta Scacchi

Woman in the Moon (album), the debut album of Chely Wright

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