in Doctor Thorne

Chapter 29 – The Donkey Ride

Hyperion compared to a satyr

Hyperion was a Titan and the father of the deities representing the sun, the dawn, and the moon.  The satyr was a woodland divinity.  Hyperion represents Frank who is both desirable and heavenly, while the satyr is Louis Scatchard who is low to the earth and undesirable.  Like the satyr, Louis is prone to vices and lacks self-control.  [TH 2005]

Shakespeare has Hamlet use the phrase “Hyperion to a satyr” when he compares his father to his uncle.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  Cassell’s Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.2.140.


like some god come from the heavens

While Frank walks beside Mary on her donkey, Trollope says of the situation “Was he not to her like some god come from the heavens to make her blessed?  Did not the sun shine upon him with a halo, so that he was bright as an angel?”  This line refers to the motif in classical mythology and literature wherein gods descend from Mt. Olympus to love women.  (It may also have Biblical resonances.)  The sun-created halo continues the analogy between Frank and Hyperion.  [TH & RR 2005]