I have always been intrigued by Greek Mythology. Join me as I dive into how Medusa came to be and who she Really was.
Legend actually states that Medusa was once a beautiful, avowed priestess of Athena who was cursed for breaking her vow of celibacy. She is in actually not even considered a goddess or Olympian although some variations of her legend say that she cosorted with one.
As legend goes, when Medusa had an affair with the sea god Poseidon, Athena cursed Medusa, turning her into a hideous hag, her hair a mess of writhing snakes and her skin a greenish hue. Anyone who locked eyes with Medusa would turn to stone.
Medusa was one of three Gorgon sisters, the only one who was not immortal. It is believed that she was born at sea. As legend has it, as a result of lying with Poseidon, she gave birth to Pegasus, the winged horse, and Chrysaor, the hero of the golden sword.
When Medusa is depicted in art, usually only her head is shown. She has a broad face, sometimes with tusks, and snakes for hair. In some images, she has fangs, a forked tongue and bulging eyes. While she is usually depicted as being ugly, one myth states that it was her great beauty that paralyzed all her observers.
The image of Medusa was thought to be protective. Famous artists have been inspired by Medusa and the heroic Perseus story: Leonardo da Vinci, Benvenuto, Cellini, Peter Paul Rubens, Pablo Piccao, and many others.
Medusa’s snake head is instantly recognizable in pop culture: Clash of the Titans (1981 and 2010). She appears as a character in TV, books, cartoons, video gamaes, and role playing games (usually as the antagonist). Medusa’s character has been memorialized in songs by UB40, Annie Lennox, and the band Anthrax.
Medusa is killed by the hero Perseus, the son of Zeus. In order for Perseus to avoid the vision that would turn him to stone, he uses his sheild to look at Medusa’s reflection and then is able to cut her head off.
Just as Medusa had always intrigued me, ancient Greek Mythology was the inspiration for many in our past history.
There is no telling where your inspiration from day to day may come from and who may inspire it.