The story of medusa
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The Story of Medusa. By Casey, Max, and Thomas. The Myth: Part 1. Medusa was a beautiful woman 1. Medusa was punished f or believing she was more beautiful than Athena 2. Medusa and Poseidon got freaky in Athena’s temple Athena turns Medusa into a Gorgon

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The Story of Medusa

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The story of medusa

The Story of Medusa

By Casey, Max, and Thomas


The myth part 1

The Myth: Part 1

  • Medusa was a beautiful woman

    1. Medusa was punished for believing she was more beautiful than Athena

    2. Medusa and Poseidon got freaky in Athena’s temple

  • Athena turns Medusa into a Gorgon

  • Medusa retreats to the edge of the world


The myth part 2

The Myth: Part 2

  • Perseus and his mother, Danae, are cast out to sea when King Acrisius hears prediction of Perseus killing him

  • Drift to the Island of Seriphus

  • King of Seriphus, Polydectes falls in love with Danae

  • Fearing Perseus will get in the way, Polydectes sends him in search of only mortal gorgon, Medusa


The myth part 21

The Myth: Part 2

  • Perseus goes in search of the Graeae

  • Gets directions to find the Hesperides

  • The Hesperides gave him a magic wallet that could fit anything that was put into it

  • Also received winged sandals from Hermes, an adamantine sword and Hades’ helm of darkness from Zeus, and a polished shield from Athena

  • Went to Medusa’s cave and decapitated her in her sleep

  • Escaped from the other two gorgons by wearing Hades’ helm of darkness


The myth part 22

The Myth: Part 2

  • Stops at Ethiopia and saves Andromeda from being killed by Cetus, a land and sea serpent

    • Depicted in the 1981 Clash of the Titans (skip to 3:20)

  • Takes her to be his wife

  • Returns to Seriphus and turns Polydectes to stone with Medusa’s head

  • Later in life, Perseus goes to Larissa to compete in athletic games

  • Throws the discus and strikes King Acrisius, killing him instantly


Significance feminism

Significance: Feminism

  • Possibly parallels with the ending of female ascendency within the temples

  • Medusa represents womanhood and the sacred/secret transformation from girl to woman

  • Snakes represent birth, death, and rebirth, which parallels with the woman’s cycle


Tip offs

Tip-Offs

  • Snakes for hair

  • Turning living things into stone

  • Decapitation as the only way to kill something

  • Beauty and ugliness

  • Exile

  • Sex in temples

  • Extreme vanity


The laugh of the medusa

The Laugh of the Medusa

  • “Woman must write herself: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies-for the same reasons, by the same law, with the same fatal goal. Woman must put herself into the text-as into the world and into history-by her own movement.”

  • In this text, women are literally being driven away from writing and figuratively being driven away from their bodies, just as Medusa was driven from her beauty in the myth.

Cixous, Helene. The Laugh of the Medusa. Signs. Vol. 1, No. 4, Cixous, Hélène. p. 875-893, Summer 1976


The laugh of the medusa1

The Laugh of the Medusa

  • “You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her. And she’s not deadly. She’s beautiful and she’s laughing.”

  • In this text, Medusa represents woman who have been castrated by patriarchal expectations of the day

Cixous, Helene. The Laugh of the Medusa. Signs. Vol. 1, No. 4, Cixous, Hélène. p. 875-893, Summer 1976. (English).


Other allusions

Other allusions

Medusa’s death by the help of a mirror alludes to the Myth of Narcissus

In Moby Dick, the narrator describes Perseus as the first whaleman when he kills Cetus with Medusa’s head

In A Tale of Two Cities, Medusa is alluded to when the narrator is describing the Marquis’s chateau.


Examples in today s society

Examples in Today’s Society

Role playing games, such as D&D, classify Medusa as a species of monster and a gorgon as scale-covered ox-like creatures that breathe out a gas that turns victims to stone.

The God of War series of video games have gorgons as enemies, depicted as scaly reptile-women with serpentine lower bodies and snakes for hair.

Both the film and novel of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, reference Medusa in her garden that is populated by people she has turned to stone. Percy goes on to decapitate her


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