As her name suggests, Melpomene was the Muse of "Molpe", i.e. the divine intonation. However, Melpomene was mainly considered as the Muse of tragedy.
Melpomene was usually portrayed next to Dionysus, the god of wine. Many times she was presented with a crown of wine leaves on her head , wearing a tragic mask and buskins and holding a knife in her hand.