London composers competed for a music prize in 1701, setting William Congreve's libretto on the judgment of Paris, a beauty contest among Juno, Pallas and Venus. Paris, contest judge, exiled prince and amorous shepherd, prefers Venus, placing love above Juno's promised empire and Pallas's martial success. This essay reveals the general political meanings of the judgment of Paris myth, shows how the tale had been used to critique Charles II and James II, examines the political beliefs of the sponsors and librettist, and demonstrates how music by John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and John Weldon supported the politics of Congreve's libretto.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts