The Real Story of Medusa PDF

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The Real Story of Medusa PDF Details
The Real Story of Medusa
PDF Name The Real Story of Medusa PDF
No. of Pages 41
PDF Size 8.42 MB
Language English
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The Real Story of Medusa

Dear readers, today we are going to offer The Real Story of Medusa PDF for all of you. Did you know that in ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is the most famous of three monstrous sisters known as the Gorgons? The earliest known record of the story of Medusa and the Gorgons can be found in Hesiod’s Theogony.

According to the ancient author, the three sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, were the children of Phorcys and Ceto. Who lived “beyond famed Oceanus at the world’s edge hard by Night”. Only Medusa is said to be the mortal of the three sisters.

But she is also the most famous and the myth of her demise at the hands of Perseus is often recounted. Medusa is an instantly recognizable figure from ancient Greek art. She is best known for having hair made of snakes. For her ability to turn anyone, she looked at the stone, literally to petrify.

The Real Story of Medusa PDF Summary


Legend states that Medusa was once a beautiful, avowed priestess of Athena who was cursed for breaking her vow of celibacy. She is not considered a goddess or Olympian, but some variations on her legend say she consorted with one. When Medusa had an affair with the sea god Poseidon, Athena punished her.

She turned Medusa into a hideous hag, making her hair into writhing snakes and her skin turned a greenish hue. Anyone who locked gaze with Medusa was turned into stone. The hero Perseus was sent on a quest to kill Medusa. He was able to defeat the Gorgon by lopping off her head, which he was able to do by fighting her reflection in his highly polished shield.

He later used her head as a weapon to turn enemies to stone. An image of Medusa’s head was placed on Athena’s own armour or shown on her shield.


One of three Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only one who was not immortal. The other two sisters were Stheno and Euryale. Gaia is sometimes said to be the mother of Medusa; other sources cite the early sea deities Phorcys and Ceto as the parents of the trio of Gorgons.

It is generally believed that she was born at sea. The Greek poet Hesiod wrote that Medusa lived close to the Hesperides in the Western Ocean near Sarpedon. Herodotus the historian said her home was Libya.

In Temple Lore

In ancient times, she did not have any known temples. It is said that the Artemis temple in Corfu depicts Medusa in an archaic form. She is shown as a symbol of fertility dressed in a belt of intertwined snakes.

In modern times, her carved image adorns a rock off the coast of the popular Red Beach outside of Matala, Crete. Also, the flag and emblem of Sicily feature her head.

In Art and Written Works

Throughout ancient Greece, there are a number of references to the Medusa myth by ancient Greek writers Hyginus, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Dionysios Skytobrachion, Herodotus, and Roman authors Ovid and Pindar. When she is depicted in art, usually only her head is shown.

She has a broad face, sometimes with tusks, and snakes for hair. In some imagery, she has fangs, a forked tongue, and bulging eyes. While Medusa is usually considered to be ugly, one myth states that it was her great beauty, not her ugliness, that paralyzed all observers.

Her “monstrous” form is believed by some scholars to represent a partially-decomposed human skull with teeth beginning to show through the decaying lips.

In Pop Culture

The snake-headed, petrifying image of Medusa is instantly recognizable in popular culture. The Medusa myth has enjoyed a renaissance since the story was featured in the “Clash of the Titans” movies in 1981 and 2010, and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” also in 2010, where Medusa is portrayed by actress Uma Thurman.

The Real Story of Medusa Plot Summary PDF

  • Medusa, in Greek mythology, is the most famous of the monster figures known as Gorgons. She was usually represented as a winged female creature having a head of hair consisting of snakes; unlike the Gorgons, she was sometimes represented as very beautiful.
  • Medusa was the only Gorgon who was mortal; hence her slayer, Perseus, was able to kill her by cutting off her head. From the blood that spurted from her neck sprang Chrysaor and Pegasus, her two sons by Poseidon.
  • The severed head, which had the power of turning into stone to all who looked upon it, was given to Athena, who placed it in her shield; according to another account, Perseus buried it in the marketplace of Argos.
  • Heracles (Hercules) is said to have obtained a lock of Medusa’s hair (which possessed the same powers as the head) from Athena and given it to Sterope, the daughter of Cepheus, as a protection for the town of Tegea against attack; when exposed to view, the lock was supposed to bring on a storm, which put the enemy to flight.
  • In the British writer Iris Murdoch’s novel A Severed Head (1961), the heroine is a Medusa figure.

Why Did Medusa Get Cursed?

Although Hesiod gives an account of Medusa’s origins and the death of Medusa at the hands of Perseus, he does not say more about her. By contrast, a more comprehensive account of Perseus and Medusa can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

In this work, Ovid describes Medusa as originally being a beautiful maiden. Her beauty caught the eye of Poseidon, who desired her and proceeded to ravage her in Athena’s shrine.

When Athena discovered the sea god had ravaged Medusa in her shrine she sought vengeance by transforming Medusa’s hair into snakes so that anyone who gazed at her directly would be turned into stone.

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