Medusa - Wikipedia
Medusa's serpentine hair sets her apart from other mythical characters. When Medusa had an affair with the sea god Poseidon, Athena. Learning Guide and Teacher Resources for Medusa written by PhD students from Stanford Religious views, People should be free to worship any gods or goddesses they please Relationship status, Single. Does it make you into a monster, or can you temper it in some way, or accept it and go in some other direction?. Medusa: Medusa, in Greek mythology, the most famous of the monster figures Medusa was the only Gorgon who was mortal; Euryale (the Far Springer), and Medusa (the Queen)—and made them the daughters of the sea god Phorcys.
Finally, because she has affixed Medusa's head to her shield, in battle or in anger she assumes the terrifying appearance of the monster. Thus, in the Aeneid 11,she expresses her wrath by making flames shoot forth from her eyes. These observations are intended to show that Athena and Medusa are the two indissociable aspects of the same sacred power. A similar claim could be made in respect of Perseus, who retains traces of his association with his monstrous double, Medusa.
Using her decapitated head to turn his enemies to stone, he spreads death around him. And when he flies over Africa with his trophy in a bag, through some sort of negligence, drops of blood fall to earth and are changed into poisonous snakes which reduce Medusa's lethal power Ovid, op.
Two famous paintings illustrate this close connection between the hero and the monster. In this interplay of doubles, the theme of reflection is fundamental. It explains the process of victimization to which Medusa was subjected, and which falls within the province of the superstition of the 'evil eye'.
The way to respond to the 'evil eye' is either to use a third eye -- the one that Perseus threw at the Graiae - or to deflect the evil spell by using a mirror. Ovid, in particular, stressed the significance of the shield in which Perseus was able to see the Gorgon without being turned to stone, and which was given to him by Athena.
Everything indicates that the mirror was the real weapon. Ovid was responsible for establishing the link with Narcissus, a myth that he made famous. It seems that the same process of victimization is at work here.
The individual is considered to have been the victim of his own reflection, which absolves the victimizer Perseus, the group from all blame. Even more revealing is Gautier's story Jettatura in which the hero, accused of having the 'evil eye', eventually believes it to be true and watches the monstrous transformation of his face in the mirror: It is the mirror of collective violence which leaves the Devil's mark on the individual, as well as being the image of death for those who look at it.
However, when considered in terms of archetypal structures, Medusa's mask still retains its secret. What is the reason for the viperine hair, the wide-open mouth with the lolling tongue, and, in particular, why is Medusa female? What relationship is there between violence, holy terror and woman? In fact the function of the Gorgon's mask was to keep men at a safe distance from the sacred ceremonies and mysteries reserved for women, i.
Graves reminds us that the Orphic poems referred to the full moon as the 'Gorgon's head'. The mask was also worn by young maidens to ward off male lust. The episode of Perseus' victory over Medusa represents the end of female ascendancy and the taking over of the temples by men, who had become the masters of the divine which Medusa's head had concealed from them.
Although it may have become less intense, the battle of the sexes was not resolved. The feminine continued to remain a source of fear for men, and the association of women with Medusa, evoked an aspect of the sex which was both fascinating and dangerous.
Medusa often appeared in Renaissance poetry, e. Ronsard's Second Livre des Amours S. The comparison took on a deeper meaning during the nineteenth century. But it was Goethe's Faust Part I which supplied the real significance of this connection. This terrible woman, the paragon of all women, whom every man simultaneously fears and seeks and for whom Medusa is the mask, is in fact the mother, i. Countless texts illustrate Medusa's affinity with the depths of the sea and the terrible power of nature, e.
Das Medusenhaupt -- 'Medusa's Head'. He presents her as the supreme talisman who provides the image of castration -- associated in the child's mind with the discovery of maternal sexuality -- and its denial. The snakes are multiple phalluses and petrifaction represents the comforting erection.
From this point onwards, the myth of Perseus takes on a new psychological meaning.
Myths and Legends
A 'sacred' man must perform the first sexual act with a woman. Two texts illustrate this aspect of the myth. One is, the Book of Arthur op. The monster occupies the lands of a maiden who not only asks the king for the assistance of a knight but also for a husband whom she describes as though he had always been intended for her. The task that he performs seems to have been the necessary requirement for his union with the Virgin. The story stresses the association of the monster with the element of water and, in particular, with the sea into which it has to be driven back.
Because the hero has had mysterious and intimate relations with a primitive monster -- a giant medusa -- he is forced to either kill all the women he loves or allow them to be killed.
However, one of them, because of her purity, confronts the monster in the secret chamber where it lurks. In this last example, the character seems to have been unable to free himself from the maternal influence and fear of the feminine.
Woman only appears in the story divided by separative decapitation, casting off the feminine in the remote depths of the world. Cast down, the feminine remains unrecognized within its innermost recess and it is this 'abject' void which maintains the theatre of the world and the logic of the talisman. In this theatre, woman occupies the two opposite extremes of evil castration, sorcery and their cure the phallus, the Virgini.
That is why, despite her terrifying power, she is fascinating. Between the 'emptiness' and the Idol represented by the division of woman, yawns the gulf of male Desire.
This persistent ambiguity can be found in the classification of the creature called the medusa. It owes its name to its resemblance to Medusa's head Apollinaire, Bestiaire,but is included in the Acephelan category. Medusa keeps her secret behind the ambiguous mask. Although she is 'representable', she is never 'presentable' and even Perseus only sees her reflected in his shield.
She is the hidden presence, absent from the world, which enables the scene to be played out. However, the hero remains trapped in the interplay of images and the logic of the talisman, just as he remains fascinated by the Gorgon mask.
Medusa • Greek Gods & Goddesses
Thus Medusa's head becomes, for the man who takes possession of it after severing it from the terrifying woman, and in accordance with the principle of the 'pharmakon', the complete opposite, i. Although they are both objects of desire, Athena and the sun are unapproachable and terrifying for those who come too close.Medusa: The Curse of Athena - Greek Mythology (Medusa Story Remake) See U in History
This danger is illustrated by the Platonic myth of Phaedrus e in which the downfall of souls is brought about by an overpowering desire to see the sun. Certain structural elements from the myth of Medusa also reappear in the myth of the Cave The Republic, ai. In his poem op. In this way, Medusa herself can become an incarnation of the Ideal, i. Surely the sun itself is the severed head that, like the head of St John the Baptist, only soars in the zenith: Whoever seeks Athena, finds Medusa's head.
Two species of snakes contain her name: Medusa represents philosophy, beauty and art. She has been featured in movies, books, cartoons and even video games. There are several versions of the Medusa myth. In almost every version of the Medusa myth, King Polydectes of Seriphus sent Perseus to return with her head so that Polydectes could marry his mother.
Perseus the hero slayed Medusa, the only mortal of the Gorgon sisters, by viewing her in the reflection of the mirrored shield of Athena.
Perseus then beheaded her. At this moment Chrysaor, the giant with a golden sword, and the winged horse Pegasus sprang forth from her body.
These are her two sons. In feminism Medusa is known as a symbol of rage even though she was originally exceedingly beautiful. A Roman cameo from the second or third century contains her head. A tepidarium from the Roman era has a mosaic floor with her head at the center. The Artemis temple in Corfu depicts Medusa in archaic form. She is a symbol of fertility dressed in a belt of intertwined snakes.
Her hair held the same powers as her head so that when it was exposed it caused a storm which chased away the foes. Medusa is one of the most famous characters of Greek mythology. This has been proven because she continues to be portrayed in pop culture.