On an eerie night, all the way in the ancient world of Greece, an impossible task was asked of Perseus, the son of Zeus. Perseus was asked to behead the dreadful monster of Medusa. He was asked to do this impossible task because everyone knew how dangerous and terrifying Medusa was. Therefore, Polydectes asked Perseus to carry out this mission because he wanted Perseus gone.1
There was no doubt about how dangerous the gorgon Medusa was, and all of Greece believed that whoever got close to her would turn to stone. Perseus’ mission was expected to be a failure due to these dangerous conditions. Medusa had a deadly power of turning those who looked into her eyes to stone. When Perseus was asked to behead her, Polydectes and the other gods didn’t believe Perseus could make it out with Medusa’s head and not be turned to stone. However, Perseus succeeded in his mission and beheaded the dreadful gorgon Medusa. The Greeks were ecstatic that this nightmare of a woman was dead and that the wonderful demi-god Perseus had Medusa’s fatal power in his hands. After this, Perseus used Medusa’s head to turn many into stone and it kept the people of Greece in fear of Medusa even after she was dead.2 However, Medusa was not always the feared monster that everyone knew her to be.
Before Medusa was known as a terrifying monster, she was a beautiful maiden who was very kind and pious. Medusa was the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. Phorcys was a sea god and Ceto was the goddess of sea monsters. Ceto gave birth to all three of the gorgons; Sthenno, Euryale, and Medusa. Medusa was the only one of the gorgons who was mortal, while the other two were immortal. Medusa was a beautiful young woman who was a priestess for the goddess of wisdom and war, Athena. Medusa was a very good priestess, as she made a vow to the goddess that she would swear her life to celibacy and servitude. However, while Medusa was praising and serving Athena, she caught eye of the god Poseidon. What caught his attention most were the gorgeous, golden locks of hair Medusa had. Because Poseidon took such a liking to Medusa, he charmed her and swayed her off her feet. The two were caught having a love affair in Athena’s temple. Once Athena found out about this affair, her jealousy raged and she became furious! She then decided to put a nasty curse on Medusa for breaking her promise of celibacy. This curse turned Medusa’s beautiful locks into venomous snakes and made it so that whenever someone looked at Medusa, they would turn to stone.3
This curse completely turned Medusa’s life around. Once given this curse, Medusa fled her home, never to return. On her journeys, she was shunned, feared, and loathed by all she encountered. These awful experiences turned Medusa’s kind, pious personality into one that matched her new appearance. It’s a shame the goddess Athena had the power to turn Medusa’s entire life around; however, Medusa was not just a feared monster to the ancient Greeks. Medusa’s severed head eventually became a symbol that scared away evil. Many warriors used the symbol of Medusa’s head on shields and breastplates during battle to aid them in winning. Other than aiding in battle, the symbol of Medusa is also seen on ancient coins from Greece that are now ancient artifacts.4 Although Medusa came to be hated by all, she was still an important part of the culture and became a key symbol in ancient Greece.
Um….Medusa was never raped by poseidon. That version your referring to was the version,written by Ovid. Ovid was a Roman poet,who had a huge dislike towards the Greek figures,especially Athena. Ovid was also born centuries after stories about medusa were already being told. So this version your referring to,never even happend.It was really fan fiction that Ovid wrote. Medusa and Athena never really had any interference with each other,besides when Athena sent perseus to kill medusa and bring back her head for Athena to put on her shield,for protection. Medusa was always a very terrible creature,but she also in a way stands as protector of women. Her head was used to protect Athena against threats and countless other women as well.
Why did Athena get mad? Posiden wasn’t even her husband. Poor Medusa. She was lonely, left in the dust.
MYTHOLOGY IS NOT REAL. STOP BELIEVING THAT THESE CHARACTERS ARE BASED IN TRUTH. THESE MONSTERS, GODS, AND DEMI-GODS CAME FROM A GREEK PAGAN BACKGROUND THAT TOOK THE PLACE OF THE ONE TRUE GOD IN HEAVEN. MEDUSA WAS NOT A REAL PERSON. WHO CARES IF THEY CLAIM MEDUSA WAS ATTRACTIVE AT ONE TIME, SHE ENDED UP BECOMING AN UGLY MONSTER WITH LIVE SNAKES FOR HAIR. HIDEOUS! WHO WOULD WANT TO BE HER? NO ONE HAS THE POWER TO DO THIS TO ANOTHER PERSON. STOP BELIEVING IN FABLES, JUST LEARN FROM THEM, AND THE MORAL OF THEIR STORY. JUST KEEP MYTHOLOGY IN A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF THE GREEKS.
Although Medusa is a famous myth, I had never heard of the backstory of how she became the monster that we all know. It was interesting to learn that she was not born as a monster, but as a mortal girl and eventually having an affair with Poseidon. I guess Poseidon didn’t care enough about medusa to find a cure for the curse that he was partially the cause for.