In the british writer iris murdochs novel a severed head 1961, the heroine is a medusa figure. The story of medusa and the greek goddess athena a myth submitted to the site by shainuja many years ago there was a beautiful women called medusa. David and hercules, both representations of the republic, look as though they have been turned to stone by perseus use of the head of medusa. Dont be afraid, said the young man, the gods look kindly upon you. The narrative of apollodorus is quoted, for the most part verbally, but as usual without acknowledgment, by zenobius, cent. Complete with activities including comprehension, illustrating and reading. I am hermes, messenger of the gods and this is our sister athena, goddess of wisdom and war. The real world perseus grandfather waited many years for a son when he finally asked the gods if he would bare a son. Enraged, perseus swore by zeus that he would provide a wedding gift for polydectes, a terrible gift the head of the medusa. The myth of perseus and the medusa the story of perseus and the medusa is featured in the book entitled greek gods, heroes and men by caroline h. Perseus is also said to be an ancestor of hercules and the asian race of the persians. Perseus is a major hero from greek mythology best known for his clever decapitation of medusa, the monster who turned all who looked at her face into stone. Perseus stood by the sea, staring out at the waves and wondering how he could ever find and capture the medusas head. Clash of the titans the 1980s take on the myth of perseus.
Perseus knew immediately that he was in the company of the gods. The king of the island, polydectes, was the fishermans brother. He was, alongside cadmus and bellerophon, the greatest greek hero and slayer of monsters before the days of heracles. Among the three, medusa was the most beautiful and youngest she was also the only mortal one of the three. This is a great source for all things ancient greek. The editors of encyclopaedia britannica this article was most recently revised and updated by adam augustyn, managing editor, reference content. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual. In a late version of the medusa myth, related by the roman poet ovid metamorphoses 4. One day, poseidon, the god of the sea and rival to athena, saw medusa and decided to humiliate athena by raping the priestess on the steps. But acrisius had a streak of jealousy that ran through his soul and tainted everything that he touched.
In each case, the goddess athena is a central figure for. Bedtime and campfire stories from way, way back in the day. This piece, made to replicate the greek classical style, stands tall above entrance to the metropolitan museum of art. Olympus in the form of a stream of gold, which poured through the roof of the chamber, and soon danae had a baby named perseus. Modern american poetry medusa in myth and literary history. Medusa, along with her sisters, euryale and stheno, were the daughters of the sea titans porcys and ceto. Heres one version of perseus story, as told by thomas bulfinch in the age of fable. Perseus was the son of zeus and danae, the daughter of acrisius of argos. Out from the monsters severed neck sprang a beautiful winged horse, the pegasus. The myth of perseus and medusa greek myths and greek. Medusa was a monster of legend, with hair turned to serpents and eyes that killed with just a glance.
Perseus was born to the god, zeus, and mortal woman, danae, making him a demigod with great strength and intelligent ingenuity. The adventures of perseus the national gallery, london. A concise, stylised and dynamic version of the perseus and medusa myth. Perhaps he expected it to sink like a stone, but instead it floated quite nicely, fetching up on a beach on the island of seriphos. Looking into the mirroring shield, perseus swooped down, and with one deft stroke he cut off the medusa s head. This sculpture, created by antonio canova in marble, was done in the early 19th century. So acrisius straightaway stuck daughter and infant into a chest and pushed it out to sea. He wanted to get rid of perseus before he married danae, so he asked perseus to slay the gorgon medusa and bring back her head as a trophy. Acrisius eyes widened in horror as the ancient pythia priestess hissed, king of. Three of them were served as priestesses to the goddess of the wisdom, athena. Medusa and perseus, and the relationship between myth and. As perseus grew up, king polydectes fell in love with danae.
This engaging and detailed lesson enables students to gain a deep understanding of the greek myth perseus and medusa. Medusa was a priestess to the goddess athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom and battle. Watch this classical greek mythology and examine the themes. No sooner had the words been spoken than perseus regretted what he had said. I was riveted from the very beginning of the story as the author took me on an incredibly joyous and tragic ride. Thus ultimately the sculpture of perseus was perhaps more about the medici family reasserting their power in a cocky and snarky way than it was a highlighting of the myth of perseus. Medusa was one of the three gorgons, daughters of phorcys and ceto, sisters of the graeae, echidna, and ladon all dreadful and fearsome beasts. Look only at medusas reflection through this, she warned, for anyone casting their eyes upon her.
The myth of perseus and medusa is an important example of morality at work in ancient greece, and this quizworksheet combo will help test your understanding of these lessons. In doing so, students learn to interpret and infer the key elements of plot in texts, comment upon the key themes and plot ideas running through a text, and empathise with the firstperson perspective of a character. She was a creature hated by the world, with a story spread far and wide, transmitting across time as well as space for generations. Clash of the titans the most recent hollywood production loosely based on the story of perseus. Medusa, a love story quickly rose to the top of my alltime favorite books. In later myths mainly in ovid medusa was the only gorgon to possess snake. Play this story or choose another from the list of myths and legends. Harding, published in 1906 by scott, foresman and company. Gods and monsters are the two main ingredients of many myths. Medusa was a gorgon, or a hideous monster with snakes for hair. Medusas head was covered in writhing serpents, and one look into her eyes could turn even the strongest hero into a stone statue. He is best known as the slayer of the gorgon medusa, a fearsome monster, and as the rescuer of the ethiopian princess andromeda. Adapted from the myths and legends of ancient greece and rome by e.
Later, perseus gave the head of medusa to athena to put on the front of her shield. Ellen shealy portergaud school, sc charleston, sc 4 views. Zeus comes to her and devours the dogs, and soon perseus is born. Here are some famous myths weve featured in storytime magazine. One day apollo said no but told him his daughter would have a boy who would grow up to be stronger and more. The myth of perseus and medusa explained the story of how medusa was killed by perseus is one of the most thrilling stories in greek mythology. Like most of the mythological heroes, the genealogy of perseus makes him the son of a god and a mortal. Perseus used his magical helmet and winged sandals to sneak up on. As perseus nears, the snakes in medusas hair begin hissing and rearing their heads. Her eyes fly open, an d she shrieks with rage when. The myth of perseus and medusa is one of the best thrillerlike tales in greek mythology with a promising plot that gets more complicated as the story progresses, this myth has a typical hollywoodlike scenario with the main character not being born yet at the moment when his destiny was determined. When the oracle tells the human king, acrisius, that his grandson will kill him, the old miser locks his daughter, danae, up in a tower guarded by savage dogs. But the god zeus got in, disguised as a shower of gold, with the result that perseus was born.
I was caught up in the love story of medusa and ariston, and the clever machinations of the gods and goddesses of olympus. An analysis of perseus with the head of medusa kibin. One requirement to be a priestess for athena is that the young woman must be a virgin and give her life to the goddess. Perseus, in greek mythology, the slayer of the gorgon medusa and the rescuer of andromeda from a sea monster. As an educator and counselor, i often use tales from classic greek mythology as a way of relating common themes that speak to the human condition. His grandfather acrisius, alarmed by an oracle which had told him that his. Medusa remained a common theme in art in the nineteenth century, when her myth was retold in thomas bulfinchs mythology.
Perseus was no ordinary young man and he was caught up in a chain of events that would be told in myths forever and a day. In some variations of the myth, medusa was born a monster like her sisters, described as girded with serpents, vibrating tongues, gnashing their teeth, having wings, brazen claws, and enormous teeth. As you read this myth, look for examples of perseuss bravery and intelligence. The story of perseus long ago, king acrisius of argos learned from an oracle that he would one day be killed by his grandson. Her head was given to athena, a god who medusa had upset in a different myth. Learn more about the traditional story of perseus in this article. The story of medusa from greek mythology guy counseling. Perseus manages to kill medusa by not looking directly at her but using the. Some myths try to explain how the universe or natural world was created. Representations of an attractive medusa occur on vases as early as the midfifth century b. Perseus, the maiden medusa, and the imagery of abduction. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the ancient greeks and romans. Medusa was originally an aspect of the goddess athene from libya where she was the serpentgoddess of. Fearing that, he hid his daughter danae in a chamber underground.
Historically, the tale of perseus and how he kille. This website and its content is subject to our terms and conditions. Just by looking at her she could turn you into stone. Hermes then handed perseus a very sharp sword, which he said belonged to zeus. Perseus and the legends of argos oxford university press. Text only version of perseus and medusa e2bn myths and legends. Medusa was a formidable foe, since her hideous appearance was able to render any onlooker into stone. The legend of medusa and perseus is brought to life by everett area high school students.
This will be demonstrated by examining three visual representations of the medusa myth, as seen on three greek vases from 525 to 400 bc. Perseus was fuming he was so angry that he went up to polydectes and held up the head of medusa and watched the man turn in to solid stone. He beheaded the gorgon medusa for polydectes and saved andromeda from the sea monster cetus. Download the free pdf resource free members and subscribers see other resources. Terrible because with just one glance, she could turn any living creature to stone. This is the traditional version of the classic story. A beautiful mortal, medusa was the exception in the family, until she incurred the wrath of athena, either due to her boastfulness or because of an illfated love affair with poseidon. One of my favorites is the medusa story, sometimes referred to as perseus and the gorgon medusa. Edward burnejones perseus cycle of paintings and a drawing by aubrey beardsley gave way to the twentieth century works of paul klee, john singer sargent, pablo picasso, pierre et gilles, and auguste rodin s bronze. Medusas death was figured as a perversion of the erotic abductions common to many greek myths, and points out the beautiful gorgon s affinities with abducted. Perseus and medusa greek, issue 1 thors stolen hammer norse, issue 3.
A fun rhyming poem retelling the ancient greek myth of how perseus slew medusa, the gorgon. Perseus is one of the greatest heroes of greek mythology. The story forms the basis of the movie clash of the titans and both the movie and the poem contain some violence which make them unsuitable for young children. She was a very kind and she obeyed her greek gods and goddesses. Transformed into a vicious monster with snakes for hair, she was. Betterlessons unique formula allows us to bring you highquality coaching, a professional learning lab, and a learnbydoing process that embeds pd into the classroom. Quickly perseus threw medusa s head into the magic bag and swung himself into the air.200 1136 454 769 557 269 400 971 143 438 822 847 410 1298 122 1187 1484 27 183 822 139 77 633 1231 206 575 820 1515 1330 701 1483 791 1065 131 927 244 1035 1032 934 431 693 1306 826 1299 1239 1414