Tuesday, 04 September 2007

Greek Mythology: Medusa, the Ugly One

Medusa was the ugly one. Hair of Serpents and a face so ugly that the mere sight of her would turn a man into stone. (I had a Mother-in-Law who could do that without looking ugly).
Anyhow, she was one of three sisters, and was a mortal. All accounts are that she was born a very beautiful woman, but was transformed into an ugly person. There are two versions as to how this transformation came about.
The first one states that she lived Far up “North” where the sun did not shine. Wanting to go to places more tropical, she had to ask the Goddess Athena for permission. Athena, for reasons unknown, declined to give her permission, which pissed Medusa off, seriously. So, she used the “I am prettier than you insult” and told Athena she would not let her go as she was more attractive than Athena herself. Athena, understandably did not take to this insult, and, having more powers, turned her into the ugly woman.
Another version is that Medusa was caught having a bit of hanky panky with Poseidon in the temple. Athena did not like this and turned her into an ugly woman.
Now to her demise. Athena, despite turning her into something ugly, wanted her dead. This was a bit difficult, as anybody who gazed upon her was turned into stone. So with the help of a bunch of other Deities, they commissioned Perseus to do the dirty deed. They provided him with a sword to cut her head off and a cap that made him invisible. So, now he could approach her without her knowing it, and could chop her head off. To get past the turning into stone barrier he was given a polished shield. By looking at her image in the shield he avoid looking at her directly
From her severed torso Pegasus and Chrysaor sprang forth.
Image from Wikipedia

No comments: