MEROPE, the name of several figures in Greek mythology.
During an insurrection Cresphontes and two of his sons were murdered and the throne seized by Polyphontes, who forced Merope to marry him.
The fortunes of Merope have furnished the subject of tragedies by Euripides (Cresphontes, not extant), Voltaire, Maffei and Matthew Arnold.
In another legend he was blinded by Oenopion of Chios for having violated his daughter Merope; but having made his way to the place where the sun rose, he recovered his sight (Hyginus, loc. cit.; Parthenius, Erotica, 20).
But at last, on the 13th of August 1732, he produced Zaire, the best (with Merope) of all his plays, and one of the ten or twelve best plays of the whole French classical school.
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