Perseus. A Fairy Tale Hero. Perseus’ Birth. Danae ’s father locked her in an underground tomb to keep her from having children, since a prophecy had said his grandson would kill him.
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A Fairy Tale Hero
Danae’s father locked her in an underground tomb to keep her from having children, since a prophecy had said his grandson would kill him.
But Zeus entered in a shower of gold and impregnated her. She kept Perseus’ birth a secret until the sound of his playing gave them away.
Her father locked them in a box and set them afloat.
They were found by a fisherman, Dictys (“Net”) on the island of Seriphos.
The king, Polydectes, fell in love with Danae when Perseus was a young man.
Polydectes wanted to get Perseus out of the way. Once he invited Perseus to a feast, the price for admission was to bring the king a horse. Perseus said he could just as easily bring him the Gorgon’s head (meaning he was way too poor). Polydectes said “Do it, then,” and sent him on the quest.
Both Hermes and Athena took pity on Perseus. They told him how to proceed, bringing him to the Graeae, old women who shared only one eye and one tooth among them. Perseus maneuvered them into helping him. They gave him a cap of invisibility, winged sandals, and a magic bag.
Perseus received a scimitar from Hermes, and Athena advised him to polish up his shield.
On his way back, Persus stopped to save the maiden Andromeda, who was tied to a rock, waiting to be eaten by a sea serpent.
He killed the monster and rescued the maiden, who became his wife.
When he returned home, he found that Polydectes was trying to force himself on Danae. He revealed the Gorgon’s head, turning the evil king and his supporters to stone.
Acrisius, as is always the case, could not escape fate. He attended an athletic competition where Perseus was throwing the discus. The discus flew into the crowd and killed him
Persus and Andromeda were, however, tainted with miasma. So they left their newly inherited kingdom of Argos and exchanged kingdoms with the king of Tiryns.
In Tiryns in historical times, young (7-9 year old) boys underwent an age-group initiation in which the Perseus story figured.