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. Cultural depictions of Medusa and Gorgons, "Bulfinch Mythology – Age of Fable – Stories of Gods & Heroes", Frank Justus Miller translation, as revised by G. P. Goold, "The Rape of Medusa in the Temple of Athena: Aspects of Triangulation", "Endless the Medusa: a feminist reading of Medusan imagery and the myth of the hero in Eudora Welty's novels. 1 Biography 2 Personality 3 Powers and Abilities 4 Appearances To be added To be added Gorgon Physiology: Medusa is a gorgon, a mythical figure of Greek mythology with the power to turn any who gaze upon her to stone. The second is that because she lost her virginity to Poseidon (and is now pregnant by him) she is technically his wife according to the laws of the day. Lastly – but perhaps most interestingly – the blood of the famous Gorgon is thought to have been the reason that the corals of the Red Sea were formed. This power is likely enabled by Pegasus’ lineage (as he is a son of Poseidon). As Perseus traveled throughout the land significant changes began to happen as the drops of blood from Medusa’s head began to fall. Particularly powerful gorgons, like The Medusa of ancient Greek legend have been known to petrify victims with a single glance. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, which places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain": Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged Johnston goes on to say that as Medusa has been repeatedly compared to Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, she proves her merit as an icon, finding relevance even in modern politics. Medusa embodies menstruation’s protective powers. Some classical references refer to three Gorgons; Harrison considered that the tripling of Medusa into a trio of sisters was a secondary feature in the myth: A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of Medusa as a quasi-historical – "based on or reconstructed from an event, custom, style, etc., in the past",[11] or "sublimated" memory of an actual invasion.[12][13]. Krisgon Blade: The Medusa Beastmate wields a kris-style blade for combat. Updated March 7, 2020. "[15] In this perspective the "ravishingly beautiful" Medusa (see above) is the mother remembered in innocence; before the mythic truth of castration dawns on the subject. Powers and Abilities. They also have the power to turn anyone who gazes upon their faces to stone. She doesn’t have any sympathy towards Medusa. However, she is slightly less vulnerable and thus more hits from the Blades of Chaos are needed to kill her. Perseus was told to kill Medusa by Polydectes. Lastly, from Hades he receives a helm of invisibility. With snakes for hair— hatred of mortal man—… Now that she has been transformed, there are many men that come to the island – no longer as suitors, but as hunters looking to behead her. Medusa heads were traditionally carved as coral cameos for an extremely powerful protective amulet. Medusa possesses the same Stonegaze ability as King Basilisk, allowing her to turn people and Titansinto stone. "[22] Griselda Pollock analyses the passage from horrorism to compassion in the figure of the Medusa through Adriana Cavarero's philosophy and Bracha Ettinger's art and Matrixial theory. Perhaps then, Medusa is a tale of the great injustice that suffered by those who have done no wrong, and the unimportance of these injustices to the greater powers of this world. Athena then puts the head on her shield – the Aegis. This presented Poseidon with a unique opportunity – he would be able to pursue Medusa as a love interest and assert his superiority as a more powerful deity. Her sisters (Stheno and Euryale) are also transformed. Athena is enraged that her temple has been desecrated – especially because it had been defiled by her rival, Poseidon. Medusa was once a beautiful women with long golden hair. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. Though Medusa was known to be a desirable young maiden, she decided to pledge herself to Athena – the goddess she considered to be the most powerful of all those who resided on Mount Olympus. From Hermes he receives winged sandals. There are many things that have to be figured out in this situation. [30] "You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her," writes Cixous. [9] 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 who was the most beautiful woman in the world at that time. The Medusa story has also been interpreted in contemporary art as a classic case of rape-victim blaming, by the Goddess Athena. Petrification: The Medusa Beastmate can turn anyone into stone by using the eyes on its chest. The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage. They use the symbolism of being unable to look into Medusa’s eyes as a symbol of how many people navigate the modern world. While Medusa is known to be one of the most famous monsters in Greek mythology, there is relatively little that is recorded of her existence before she was beheaded by Perseus. She and her sister Euryale were both immortal, and the third sister, Medusa, was mortal even though her image was immortalized in its hideousness by Athena. There are some variations - some versions of the myth say that it was eye contact that turned you to stone, others say that it was any part of her, others still say it was her snake hair (which is the only other supernatural thing about her). Because she had allowed herself to be defiled in Athena’s temple, Athena transformed her into the most hideous of all the Gorgons and made her features so terrible to behold that she could instantly turn a man into stone if he were to gaze at her directly. This poison is so potent that it can even affect a Seraphim. She remained a priestess to Athena after her death and was risen with fresh hair. He believes that one reason for her longevity may be her role as a protector, fearsome and enraged. The first to emerge is Pegasus – one of the most famous creatures in all of mythology. Petrification: Medusa is cursed to be a Gorgon and has the ability to turn beings into stone by just looking at them. From Athena he receives a mirrored shield. Medusa becomes pregnant and is both angered and confused. In ancient Greece on Earth, there were myths about Medusa, indicating she may have visited Earth at some point, or another incarnation of her existed there. Her mother, Ceto, was also a primordial sea goddess. Of the three Gorgons, Sthen… Gorgon Powers. 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 because Polydectes wanted to marry Perseus's mother. Elizabeth Johnston's November 2016 Atlantic essay called Medusa the original 'Nasty Woman.' Medusa could change between her gorgon and human appearance. Andromeda is being sacrificed as a punishment to Cassiopeia (her mother), who was foolish enough to boast that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids. This shield is sometimes called a mirror and other times called a shield of bronze that was polished so much it reflected quite easily. Medusa was a monster from Greek mythology that was one of the three sisters including Euryale and Stheno.. In fact, her head went on to inspire one of the most powerful talisman of it’s time – the Gorgoneion. From Hades should send up an awful monster's grisly head. Inspired by the #metoo movement, contemporary figurative artist Judy Takács returns Medusa's beauty along with a hashtag stigmata in her portrait, #Me(dusa)too. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. Last, though certainly not least, many see the story of Medusa as a reminder of the many dynamics that come into play when the greater forces of the world (in this case, the gods of Mount Olympus) are at work. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). Perseus then flew to Seriphos, where his mother was being forced into marriage with the king, Polydectes, who was turned into stone by the head. Medusa has been depicted in several works of art, including: Medusa remained a common theme in art in the nineteenth century, when her myth was retold in Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology. Through many of her iterations, Medusa pushes back against a story that seeks to place the male, Perseus, at its center, blameless and heroic. This is one of the first instances that Medusa’s powers have been used to show the protective nature of the Gorgons. From Hephaestus (the god of blacksmiths and metal workers) he receives a sword. In so doing, we unravel a familiar narrative thread: In Western culture, strong women have historically been imagined as threats requiring male conquest and control, and Medusa herself has long been the go-to figure for those seeking to demonize female authority. "And she's not deadly. In Greek mythology, Medusa (/mɪˈdjuːzə, -sə/; Μέδουσα "guardian, protectress")[1] also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Throughout time, the story of Medusa has gone on to inspire many great thinkers and artists. Municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic, Ceremonial French military uniform belt of World War I, Medusa is honored in the following scientific names:[37], Classical Greek depiction of Medusa from the fourth century BC, The triple form is not primitive, it is merely an instance of a general tendency... which makes of each woman goddess a trinity, which has given us the. Perseus asked the Titan to allow him to rest, but Atlas refused and tried to attack him. Using these gifts he travels and gathers information that is vital to his quest. Eventually, Medusa was known to have been transformed into a beast that would be feared by all because she was considered responsible for the desecration of Athena’s temple. Petrification: The ability to turn living beings into stone. Arsenal. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto,[2] although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto.[3]. Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."[8]. The following explains the origin story and the meaning of Medusa, the terrifying gorgon in Greek mythology: The head of Medusa. Powers of the Greek Gods: ... strategic warfare had magical weapons and a shield called an aegis that depicted the head of Medusa, representing its great protective power. As soon as Perseus cuts off Medusa’s head, her two children are born. Though her life itself may not have been given much consideration in ancient records, the many things that came from her death would go on to impact ancient mythology in countless ways. In a late version of the Medusa myth, by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.794–803), Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden, but when Poseidon had sex with her in "Minerva's" (i.e. Glamouring: The ability to change one's appearance. Perseus is able to overcome the monster with the powerful head of Medusa and is able to save Andromeda (who later becomes his wife). Even though it is implied otherwise, Medusa's power is that of a regular Gorgon. The maiden turned monster has inspired many great works of art and philosophy – and has experienced a reemergence in popularity in modern day. Cerberus' job was to make sure the dead stay within the gates and the living stay away from them. He is said to have been born with a golden sword in his hand and is known to have gone on to marry Callirrhoe and father Geryon. After being violated by Poseidon, Medusa is devastated. It is also known that two drops of her blood were placed in a vial. Medusa’s blood is also credited with creating the Amphisbaena – a fearsome creature that resembled a dragon and had a snake’s head on the end of its tail. Medusa is one of the more unusual divine figures of ancient Greece mythology.. One of a trio of Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only sister who was not immortal. This power was given to Asclepius who used it accordingly. As a trick, Polydectes tells Perseus to bring him the head of Medusa (which is essentially a suicide mission). Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended... the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood. The Gorgoneion was an amulet that bore the head of a Gorgon. Her mother, Ceto, was also a primordial sea goddess. Athena then turned Medusa into a gorgon. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. 1 Background Information 2 Powers and Abilities 2.1 Super Powers 3 Medusa's Temple 4 Episode Appearance 5 External Links In Greek mythology, Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, was the daughter of the ancient marine deities Phorcys and his sister Ceto. Medusa’s family is known for their fierce features and impressive power. The daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, she was born in the caverns beneath Mount Olympus. The head of Medusa is featured on some regional symbols. A story says that Hercules acquired a lock of Medusa’s hair from Athena and gave it to the daughter of Cepheus, Sterope, to protect the town of Tegea from being attacked. Jack London uses Medusa in this way in his novel The Mutiny of the Elsinore:[34]. Medusa’s only real “power” was that if you looked directly at her, you would be turned into stone. Gorgons are capable of turning their foes to stone, although how they go about this has been shown to vary to some extent. Because her head was placed on Athena’s shield (the Aegis) and her blood was revealed to hold the power of both life and death, Medusa’s head became a symbol of protection. [citation needed]. With snakes for hair—hatred of mortal man—, While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as having monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. (Pythian Ode 12). World Register of Marine Species. Medusa was an enemy of the Amazons, she was killed by Wonder Woman. Less powerful ones, such as Hitomi Ishigamimust first "bite" an opponent with one of her snake-like appendages. Edward Burne-Jones' 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 sculpture The Gates of Hell.[36]. In some variations her face is disfigured with a beard and fangs (other versions do not tell of this disfigurement) and finally, her hair is transformed into venomous nest of snakes. During one of her rampages, she turned her attention to … User with this ability either is or can transform into an gorgon, a terrifying female creature of Greek mythology. Most of what we know of Medusa comes from her short time serving in Athena’s temple and the way in which her head was used after she was beheaded by Perseus. In fact, she puts all blame for the incident on Medusa and decides to punish her by transforming her into a monster that will be undesirable. To understand Medusa’s transformation, it is important to first understand where she came from. Euryale’s cries echo through the island – an act for which she becomes most famous in mythology. The story of Medusa and her sister’s transformation into the dreaded Gorgons is both tragic and insightful. He then sneaks onto the island of Sapharose and beheads Medusa while she sleeps by using Athena’s mirrored shield to guide his movements so that he does not have to look at Medusa directly. In Greek mythology, Medusa is eventually killed by Perseus. Although Medusa was a devout priestess to Athena, she was not protected from being violated by Poseidon and is unjustly punished for a situation she had no control over. In Greek mythology, Medusa also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. The gods give him gifts to help him on his journey. She has difficulty reconciling with her new identity, but eventually comes to embrace her role and begins to take her vengeance on men as this is one of the only ways that she can attempt to get even with Poseidon. She was born on an island named Sarpedon – which is thought to be somewhere in the general area of Cisthene – and was known to have been one of the Gorgon sisters. The second to come forth from Medusa’s neck is Chrysaor. The gods were well aware of this, and Perseus received help. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.[10]. It is said that the blood that came from the left side of her head had the power to take life, while the blood from the right side of her head had the power to resurrect the dead. It was then that Pegasus was instructed to carry the lightning and thunderbolts on behalf of the Olympians. Her father, Phorcys, was known to be a primordial sea god who had a fish tail, crab-like forearms, and red, spiky skin. Her history is very important in terms of context to what she became and how she impacted history. Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures. There are several variations of the order of the events that come next, but the conclusion is always the same. She's beautiful and she's laughing. The character of Medusa changes greatly after Athena punishes her unjustly. He tries to sneak off the island, but Medusa’s body is discovered by her sisters before he can leave. Noted by Marjorie J. Milne in discussing a, WoRMS Editorial Board (2017). Medusa is transformed into a terrible beast that has bronze hands and wings. Probably the feminine present participle of. The cover featured the image of the Gorgon Medusa by Froggi Lupton, which the editors on the inside cover explained "can be a map to guide us through our terrors, through the depths of our anger into the sources of our power as women. Atmokinesis: The ability to control weather elements. The Minotaur in Greek Mythology; The Head of Medusa. Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound describes them thus: 1. There are varying accounts of how Euryale and Stheno became the feared Gorgons we see in literature, though many sources claim that the two sisters were turned into monsters for the perceived ‘crime’ of standing with Medusa instead of being compliant with Athena’s decision to punish her for being ravished in her temple. This is likely due in part to Zeus and Athena, who were both known to wear a Gorgoneion. Medusa’s family is known for their fierce features and impressive power. Super Strength - Gorgons … Pegasus was a winged stallion that was pure white and powerful in nature. They fly out of her neck, fully grown. As Perseus headed home, the blood from Medusa’s head dropped on the plains of Libya, causing them to turn into venomous snakes. Powers and Abilities. He received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades's helm of invisibility. There are many different men that try – and fail – to hunt Medusa, until Perseus is contracted to bring back her head to King Polydectes. Its purpose was to act as a guardian for female power, keeping the book solely in the hands of women. This symbol was thought to keep evil away from those who invoked its protection by wearing it as a pendant. Teleportation: The ability to instantly teleport from one location to another. Because of this, Libya is still full of poisonous vipers to this day. Regardless of which version is told, Medusa decides not to leave Athena’s temple because of her devotion. She is killed by the hero Perseus, who cuts off her head.To the Greeks, Medusa is the leader of an ancient, older matriarchal religion that had to be obliterated; in modern culture, she represents vital sensuality and a power that is threatening to males. She doesn’t know what to do – she had planned on devoting the rest of her life to Athena. [32][33] In this interpretation of Medusa, attempts to avoid looking into her eyes represent avoiding the ostensibly depressing reality that the universe is meaningless. In both Greek and Roman mythology, Perseus, attempting to rescue his mother Danae from the coercive King Polydectes, needed to embark on the dangerous venture of retrieving Medusa's head. A false story about her told that she was defeated by the hero Jasonby reflecting her image back at herself. Archetypal literary criticism continues to find psychoanalysis useful. Another example is the coat of arms of Dohalice village in the Czech Republic. 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