The nightingale is an important symbol for poets from a variety of ages, and has taken on a number of symbolic connotations. Homer evokes the nightingale in the Odyssey, suggesting the myth of Philomela and Procne. This myth is the focus of Sophocles’ tragedy, Tereus, of which only fragments remain. Ovid, too, in his Metamorphoses, includes the most popular version of this myth, imitated and altered by later poets, including Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and George Gascoigne. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land also evokes the nightingale’s song (and the myth of Philomela and Procne). Because of the violence associated with the myth, the nightingale’s song was long interpreted as a lament.
The Love of the Nightingale runs May 3-29.
Tickets are available through our website.