There are many variations of the story of Medusa. Yet, I find this one more detailed and precise. Medusa is apart of the chain of Greek Mythology, these stories, or legends are not real and usually said to get a point across, or entertainment. Medusa also shows the relationship the society had with women at that time. Medusa was a Gorgon, The Gorgon’s where three sisters, daughters of Phorcys and Ceto.
Their names where Stethno, Euryale, and Medusa. Stethno and Euryale where immortal, however Medusa was a mortal. The three sisters where known to be so ugly, if anyone looked at them they would be killed instantly. Medusa was a Queen who reigned in the land around Tritons in Libya.
She used to be a beautiful Maiden and Triton fell in love with her. Medusa, after her encounter with Triton, Athena, turned into an ugly woman with snakes as hair, and anyone that looked upon her would turn into stone. Medusa had this spell cast upon her by Athena because, Medusa and Poseidon where caught sleeping together in one of Athena’s temples. Athena then became very angry and in her rage, turned Medusa into an ugly woman.
Thus, as the story goes Perseus (the son of Andromeda and Zeus), is assigned to assassinate Medusa. He kills her by coming to her in her sleep, then using a mirror looks to see her face, careful not to look at her, he cuts her head off. The blood that splurged from her neck made the country of Libya infested, because her blood turned into snakes. It is also said that Heracles is said to have obtained a lock of Medusa’s hair, which possessed the same power as her head, from Athena. He gave it to Sterope, the daughter of Cepheus, as protection for the town of Tegea against attack. When exposed to view, the lock was supposed to bring on a storm, which put the enemy to flight.
In my mind Medusa has many different symbolic qualities. She showed strength, and that is why I think this story ties in with the equality of women. If a man was strong he would not be persecuted just because he was a man. Yet, medusa was definitely picked on by many people. This also shows that the society then was scared of powerful women. Because why did people want her dead, it was the fact that she was very powerful and might have intimidated many men.
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