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Medusa

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by

Dilara Koz

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Medusa

Medusa By: Dilara and Burcu Medusa is a monster, one of the three gorgon sisters. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. She is described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. The name Medusa is credited to mean many things. It could be a form of the Greek word metis, meaning feminine wile, an aspect which the male gods themselves strive to obtain and which was ingrained into human women during their creation. Medusa also means ruler or queen, and possibly guardian, terms which suggest powerful positions not commonly associated with proper Greek women. Apollodorus, in the first event described,Medusa is portrayed as a beautiful woman in a male role leading an army against Perseus. She is murdered during the night by Perseus, a subtle act of the male control over metis. In the second event described by Apollodorus, Medusa is merely a wild woman from the Libyan desert. She wandered to Lake Tritonis and pestered the locals, until Perseus killed her. To some degree this shows the Greek belief in keeping women under tight rein. Such "wild women" are dangerous and must be dealt with quickly. This attitude probably stems from the Greek belief that women were created by the gods as a punishment on men. It is fitting that Athena is said to have wished this wild woman to be dealt with, as she is frequently the repre
Her hair of snakes and reptilian skin are symbolic of the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Snakes are used due to their shedding of skin, their rebirth to a new skin. In classical Greek culture, the snake is also a wily and deceptive creature, intelligent but to be distrusted in all things.
Medusa's wings symbolize the sky, the freedom and mastery over worlds, the transition between the worlds of earth and sky.
Medusa's ability to turn men into stone is an important facet of her feminine power. This is the power over all life, the ability to return life back to the earth from which it came. This is the power which must be reigned in by the Greek gods, for it represents a total control over the natural cycle.
Medusa was once very beautiful and lived far in the north were the sun didn't visit. Being very curious, she wanted to see the sun, and asked the Goddess Athena for permission to visit the south. Athena refused to allow her to visit. The medusa got angry and dared to say that Athena hadn't given her permission because she was jealous of her beauty. that was it. Athena was angered and punished her by turning her hair into snakes and cursing her by making her so ugly that who ever lookes at her eyes would turn into stone. In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus. In his conquest, he received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades' helm of invisibility. Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, so Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon. When Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a golden sword-wielding giant, sprang from her body. According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him. In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore the poisonous vipers of the Sahara were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. Perseus then flew to Seriphos, where his mother was about to be forced into marriage with the king. King Polydectes was turned into stone by the gaze of Medusa's head. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis. Bibliography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa#Medusa_in_classical_mythology
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/bogan/medusamyth.htm
http://thanasis.com/medusa.htm
http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/greece/m-story-medusa-and-athena.htm
http://medusa.plush.org/analysis.shtml
Medusa By: Dilara and Burcu
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