[Stage Play Review] Endymion, the Man in the Moon

EndimionEndymion, the Man in the Moon

John Lyly

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

What are your thoughts on the play? How did you come to read it?

So as most of my generation would say, “The first time I ever heard the name ‘Endymion’ was while screaming it alongside Sailor Moon (aka Princess Serenity) as she watched her love die before her very eyes or gets mortally wounded or some other such HORROR from that quaint little show we all watched as children called Sailor Moon.” XD

It was only through that manga (and later the anime) that I learned anything about the myth and the story behind “the man in the moon” (since most schools officially sucked at doing their job and ACTUALLY TEACHING YOU SOMETHING OF VALUE *groan ‘n eyeroll*). Having piqued my interest, I later went on something of a book-hunt to track down a copy to read for my own pleasure and intellectual enlightenment.

Cue actually finding a copy, only to MISPLACE SAID COPY, and thus never actually getting the chance to read said copy. EVER.

Fast forward to the present day and a certain Play On Reading Challenge which challenged me to read plays from different time periods… Add to that me COINCIDENTALLY UNCOVERING THIS PLAY AGAIN AMONG A THRONG OF DUSTY OLD BOOKS, and VOILA! Instant rekindling of old fond memories of Sailor Scouting and Endymion goodness.


John Lyly’s play actually has NOTHING to do with any girl punishing you in the name of the moon or any dude named Mamoru.


Shocker! I know. XD Just thought I’d let you know in case you were wonderin’. 8D

The original Greek story of Endymion is a bit muddled, where no one is entirely sure if he was king, shepherd, hunter, or vagrant… However, all interpretations agree that whoever this mystery man was… he was undoubtedly the lover of Selene.

Selene — *COUGHprincessSerenityCOUGHCOUGHS* — is the Titan goddess of the moon, daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of the sun-god Helios, and Eos, goddess of the dawn.

The play by John Lyly is loosely based on that classic Greek tale, but has its roots firmly placed in Elizabethan drama, paralleling the shenanigans of Queen Elizabeth I’s court and many aspiring suitors.

It starts with Endymion talking to his close friend Eumenides about how he’s been feeling a bit lovesick and dispassionate about everything and everyone except for the celestial heavens above. (I’m really not kidding here. The guy is waay gone. xD) Herein, he confesses that he’s fallen in love with the moon Goddess, Cynthia. Eumenides, as any good best friend would, tells him he’s crazy and he needs to come back down to earth.


Cythnia, on the other hand, is totally playing it cool and not falling for this nonsense (even if she does care for this silly love-stricken mortal man).

Meanwhile, Tellus, Endymion’s erstwhile lover, concocts a plan to enlist the help of a sorceress to enchant Endymion so he falls into a deep sleep from which he cannot awaken.

Thus, our story truly begins.

From there, the play plays out in its entirety with intrigue, more hopelessly in-love love-falling, running about not knowing what anyone else is doing, and all the while Endymion sleeps. (All in all — probably the BEST SLEEP OF HIS LIFE. /shuts up holy gods I need to stop making jokes)

Impressions? Well, I for one am REALLY glad I was able to read this play (finally). It was as interesting, kinda purple prose-y and flourishing as I imagined, and full of laugh-out-loud moments that had many around me wondering (and asking), “What are you reading?” I think all the dialogue was rather spot-on, humorous, witty, and satirical while being quite bold for its content matter, especially as it about the reigning Queen (at the time) herself. What an ingenious play, elegantly written and brilliantly executed!

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Sure does~ Although it was specifically read for the 2015 Play On Reading Challenge! It also fits these challenges as well:

Would you recommend this book?


I apparently have very good taste in plays, because this one is also a keeper! I’m just sorry I didn’t read it sooner… But I guess, all things in their time. 🙂

Go find yourself a copy and read for yourself~~~!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Format: Paperback
Pages: play itself is 109 pgs
Genre & Themes: Love, Divinity, Mythology,
Play, Queen Elizabeth I, Stage Play, Comedy,
Greek Mythology, Moon, Romance, Love,
Jilted Lovers, Satire
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought (If you want to read it online, click here.)
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (19),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge



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