However, her time as a beautiful maiden was not to last forever. "[15] In this perspective the "ravishingly beautiful" Medusa (see above) is the mother remembered in innocence; before the mythic truth of castration dawns on the subject. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon. Johnston goes on to say that as Medusa has been repeatedly compared to Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, she proves her merit as an icon, finding relevance even in modern politics. Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone. Petrification: The Medusa Beastmate can turn anyone into stone by using the eyes on its chest. From Hermes he receives winged sandals. As well has having snakes for hair, she was given a serpent-like body and rattlesnake-like tail. In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus because Polydectes wanted to marry Perseus's mother. Although Medusa was a devout priestess to Athena, she was not protected from being violated by Poseidon and is unjustly punished for a situation she had no control over. Among the many historical figures to become fascinated with Medusa’s story was Sigmund Freud. He believed that the viewing of a woman’s genitals (especially a mother’s genitals) in their adult state would have posed a real terror for young men and thought that the story of Medusa could have been created to symbolize this idea. It is also known that two drops of her blood were placed in a vial. There are many different men that try – and fail – to hunt Medusa, until Perseus is contracted to bring back her head to King Polydectes. Medusa could only use it to summon lightning. Stheno in Greek mythology was the eldest of the Gorgons, vicious female monsters with brass hands, sharp fangs and "hair" made of living venomous snakes. In 1940, Sigmund Freud's "Das Medusenhaupt (Medusa's Head)" was published posthumously. Archetypal literary criticism continues to find psychoanalysis useful. Athena then turned Medusa into a gorgon. [28], Feminist theorist Hélène Cixous famously tackled the myth in her essay "The Laugh of the Medusa." "[22], In issue three, Fall 1986 for the magazine Woman of Power an article called Gorgons: A Face for Contemporary Women's Rage, appeared, written by Emily Erwin Culpepper, who wrote that "The Amazon Gorgon face is female fury personified. They also have the power to turn anyone who gazes upon their faces to stone. Medusa was an enemy of the Amazons, she was killed by Wonder Woman. When Perseus finally returns from his quest, King Polydectes is astonished to see the young hero alive. In Greek mythology, Medusa is eventually killed by Perseus. Another example is the coat of arms of Dohalice village in the Czech Republic. Perseus complies and goes to the gods to help him on his journey. Combine that with her wicked personality and she was such a threat that the gods Zeus, Hermes and Athena all equipped Perseus with divine objects, the Adamantine Sword, … Powers and Abilities Edit. Looking at forbidden mother (in her hair-covered genitals, so to speak) stiffens the subject in illicit desire and freezes him in terror of the Father's retribution. She appeals to Athena and asks that the goddess give her wisdom and advice in how to move forward. There are some variations - some versions of the myth say that it was eye contact that turned you to stone, others say that it was any part of her, others still say it was her snake hair (which is the only other supernatural thing about her). Powers of the Greek Gods: ... strategic warfare had magical weapons and a shield called an aegis that depicted the head of Medusa, representing its great protective power. Its purpose was to act as a guardian for female power, keeping the book solely in the hands of women. Jack London uses Medusa in this way in his novel The Mutiny of the Elsinore:[34]. User with this ability either is or can transform into an gorgon, a terrifying female creature of Greek mythology. Perseus asked the Titan to allow him to rest, but Atlas refused and tried to attack him. There are several variations of the order of the events that come next, but the conclusion is always the same. Many versions claim that the sisters were transformed because they defend Medusa and undermine the will of Athena. A story says that Hercules acquired a lock of Medusa’s hair from Athena and gave it to the daughter of Cepheus, Sterope, to protect the town of Tegea from being attacked. [26] Beyond that, Medusa's story is, Johnston argues, a rape narrative. Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures. However, she earned Athena's wrath by first boasting that she was more beautiful than the goddess, and by having intercourse with Poseidon in Athena's temple. However, she is also reclusive and does not leave her island often. Medusa was a monster from Greek mythology that was one of the three sisters including Euryale and Stheno.. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). 1 Biography 2 Personality 3 Powers and Abilities 4 Appearances To be added To be added Gorgon Physiology: Medusa is a gorgon, a mythical figure of Greek mythology with the power to turn any who gaze upon her to stone. Regardless of which version is told, Medusa decides not to leave Athena’s temple because of her devotion. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature, common features include hair of living, venomous snakes and ability to petrify other beings. Pegasus was a winged stallion that was pure white and powerful in nature. Krisgon Blade: The Medusa Beastmate wields a kris-style blade for combat. These sisters comprised a race of monsters known as Gorgons and Medusa was the only one of them that could be killed, she was said to be able to turn people to stone with a glance: her hair was said to be made of snakes and she has become one of the most iconic Grecian monsters of all time. Herculesclaimed to have fought Medusa as part of his Twelve Labours. That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B.C. The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage. Perseus knew that he would be unable to fight of Atlas on his own, but with quick thinking realizes that he can use Medusa’s head to his advantage. Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended... the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood. Her fondness of Athena was reciprocated for a time. With snakes for hair—hatred of mortal man—, While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as having monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. The terror of Medusa is thus a terror of castration that is linked to the sight of something. He plots to kill Perseus so that he may marry the young hero’s mother, but Perseus is able to stop the attack by using Medusa’s head to turn Polydectes and his accomplices to stone. The cover featured the image of the Gorgon Medusa by Froggi Lupton, which the editors on the inside cover explained "can be a map to guide us through our terrors, through the depths of our anger into the sources of our power as women. Stephen Wilk, author of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon, questioned Medusa's enduring status among the feminist movement. In Greek mythology, Medusa (/mɪˈdjuːzə, -sə/; Μέδουσα "guardian, protectress")[1] also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, which places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain": Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged "[29] Cixous wants to destroy the phallogocentric system, and to empower women's bodies and language. There are no recorded instances of Medusa turning a woman to stone. It is their thought that people keep their eyes down to avoid facing reality (Medusa) so that they are not frozen by the realization that life means nothing. In a late version of the Medusa myth, by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.794–803), Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden, but when Poseidon had sex with her in "Minerva's" (i.e. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. In an ode written in 490 BC, Pindar already speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa".[5]. Andromeda is being sacrificed as a punishment to Cassiopeia (her mother), who was foolish enough to boast that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids. 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 one myth reported by the Greek poet Pindar (517–438 BCE), Medusa was a beautiful mortal woman who one day went to Athena's temple to worship. Medusa is a native of the planet Caltos. Lastly – but perhaps most interestingly – the blood of the famous Gorgon is thought to have been the reason that the corals of the Red Sea were formed. It was then that Pegasus was instructed to carry the lightning and thunderbolts on behalf of the Olympians. "[22], Medusa's visage has since been adopted by many women as a symbol of female rage; one of the first publications to express this idea was a feminist journal called Women: A Journal of Liberation in their issue one, volume six for 1978. They fly out of her neck, fully grown. Perseus is able to overcome the monster with the powerful head of Medusa and is able to save Andromeda (who later becomes his wife). They scour the island for Medusa’s killer but they are unable to find Perseus because of the gifts that were offered to him by the gods. Freud compared Medusa as a fair maiden to the image of a mother in the eyes of the innocent before a young boy had seen adult female genitals. Beastmate Type : Human Originated Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto,[2] although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto.[3]. They use the symbolism of being unable to look into Medusa’s eyes as a symbol of how many people navigate the modern world. Beth Seelig analyzes Medusa's punishment from the aspect of the crime of having been raped rather than having willingly consented in Athena's temple as an outcome of the goddess' unresolved conflicts with her own father, Zeus. He is said to have been born with a golden sword in his hand and is known to have gone on to marry Callirrhoe and father Geryon. Her mother, Ceto, was also a primordial sea goddess. He was also known to have ruled as king of Iberia. Using these gifts he travels and gathers information that is vital to his quest. ", "The Timeless Myth of Medusa, a Rape Victim Turned Into a Monster", Online version at the Perseus Digital Library, Online version at Harvard University Press, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Medusa in Myth and Literary History" – English.uiuc.edu, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Medusa&oldid=996284647, Articles having different image on Wikidata and Wikipedia, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 December 2020, at 16:58. Most of what we know of Medusa comes from her short time serving in Athena’s temple and the way in which her head was used after she was beheaded by Perseus. Atmokinesis: The ability to control weather elements. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, which has been registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. Edward Burne-Jones' Perseus Cycle of paintings and a drawing by Aubrey Beardsley gave way to the twentieth century works of Paul Klee, John Singer Sargent, Pablo Picasso, Pierre et Gilles, and Auguste Rodin's bronze sculpture The Gates of Hell.[36]. [32][33] In this interpretation of Medusa, attempts to avoid looking into her eyes represent avoiding the ostensibly depressing reality that the universe is meaningless. In fact, her head went on to inspire one of the most powerful talisman of it’s time – the Gorgoneion. As Perseus traveled throughout the land significant changes began to happen as the drops of blood from Medusa’s head began to fall. Athena then puts the head on her shield – the Aegis. She's beautiful and she's laughing. This symbol was thought to keep evil away from those who invoked its protection by wearing it as a pendant. It was after the Gorgon sisters were wrongfully punished by Athena that their horrific transformation really began. Inscribe the breath of the whole woman. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. Energy Slash: The Medusa Beastmate can generate energy slashes from the Krisgon Blade. Thus, his mother is saved by the protective powers of Medusa. The gods give him gifts to help him on his journey. She is killed by the hero Perseus, who cuts off her head.To the Greeks, Medusa is the leader of an ancient, older matriarchal religion that had to be obliterated; in modern culture, she represents vital sensuality and a power that is threatening to males. Her mother, Ceto, was also a primordial sea goddess. As soon as Perseus cuts off Medusa’s head, her two children are born. As years go by, she becomes more and more vicious and vengeful. In both Greek and Roman mythology, Perseus, attempting to rescue his mother Danae from the coercive King Polydectes, needed to embark on the dangerous venture of retrieving Medusa's head. Perseus then flew to Seriphos, where his mother was being forced into marriage with the king, Polydectes, who was turned into stone by the head. Super Strength - Gorgons … Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. [9] In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Ethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda who was the most beautiful woman in the world at that time. Some classical references refer to three Gorgons; Harrison considered that the tripling of Medusa into a trio of sisters was a secondary feature in the myth: A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of Medusa as a quasi-historical – "based on or reconstructed from an event, custom, style, etc., in the past",[11] or "sublimated" memory of an actual invasion.[12][13]. However, Medusa would not serve as a priestess for long. Beastmate Info. The classic version of Medusa, however, was something that Freud saw as an Oedipus-type syndrome and the decapitation of the monster was thought to represent castration and fear. This power is likely enabled by Pegasus’ lineage (as he is a son of Poseidon). She claims "we must kill the false woman who is preventing the live one from breathing. Athena is enraged that her temple has been desecrated – especially because it had been defiled by her rival, Poseidon. This is one of the first instances that Medusa’s powers have been used to show the protective nature of the Gorgons. There are several variations with what happened next. As a trick, Polydectes tells Perseus to bring him the head of Medusa (which is essentially a suicide mission). The Minotaur in Greek Mythology; The Head of Medusa. Feminists also like to point to the conditions of Medusa’s descent into the monster world as a criminalization of rape victims that is also typical of modern society. Like the lesser Gorgons, Medusa has the power to turn Kratos to stone with her gaze. Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound describes them thus: 1. "The Laugh of the Medusa" is largely a call to arms, urging women to reclaim their identity through writing as she rejects the patriarchal society of Western culture. Her sisters (Stheno and Euryale) are also transformed. He believes that one reason for her longevity may be her role as a protector, fearsome and enraged. In fact, she puts all blame for the incident on Medusa and decides to punish her by transforming her into a monster that will be undesirable. The Medusa Minosaur, like all Minosaurs, is unintelligible and can only speak one word, which is "Look"(見ろ, Miro). Only a few heroes ever escaped Cerberus's guard. Author Sibylle Baumbach described Medusa as a “multimodal image of intoxication, petrifaction, and luring attractiveness," citing her seductive contemporary representation, as well as her dimensionality, as the reason for her longevity.[25]. Gorgons also have the standard superhuman strength and agility common of most Yōkai species. This presented Poseidon with a unique opportunity – he would be able to pursue Medusa as a love interest and assert his superiority as a more powerful deity. She is famed for her snake-like hair and her gaze, which turns those who look at her to stone. Medusa embodies menstruation’s protective powers. Fact 1: In Greek mythology, Medusa was a fearsome Gorgon. The daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, she was born in the caverns beneath Mount Olympus. Inspired by the #metoo movement, contemporary figurative artist Judy Takács returns Medusa's beauty along with a hashtag stigmata in her portrait, #Me(dusa)too. In Greek mythology, Medusa also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. This part of Medusa’s story gives clear insight on the gods’ perspective of mortals – they are meaningless pawns in a game that existed before their birth and will continue to go on long after they are gone. Petrification: Medusa is cursed to be a Gorgon and has the ability to turn beings into stone by just looking at them. Statues of Medusa were used to guard Pagan Greek temples. Active Powers. Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."[8]. As Perseus headed home, the blood from Medusa’s head dropped on the plains of Libya, causing them to turn into venomous snakes. Although Medusa’s story has some relevance and symbolism before her tragic end, she arguably has the most influence in her death. The legends and mythology about the Powers of the Greek Gods. Medusa is a creature in Greek mythology, and one of the three Gorgon sisters, and was the only one that was mortal, of which any who gaze into its eyes will turn to stone. Athena’s) temple,[6] Athena punished Medusa by transforming her beautiful hair into horrible snakes. She appeals to her goddess and asks for help in moving forward. Medusa is transformed into a terrible beast that has bronze hands and wings. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.[10]. What are Medusa's powers in Greek mythology? He received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades's helm of invisibility. Many authors claim that the corals were created when drops of blood spilled onto seaweed in the waters below. Lastly, from Hades he receives a helm of invisibility. When Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant wielding a golden sword, sprang from her body.[7]. Teleportation: The ability to instantly teleport from one location to another. Together, they … According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. Updated March 7, 2020. It is said that the blood that came from the left side of her head had the power to take life, while the blood from the right side of her head had the power to resurrect the dead. Her father, Phorcys, was known to be a primordial sea god who had a fish tail, crab-like forearms, and red, spiky skin. The following explains the origin story and the meaning of Medusa, the terrifying gorgon in Greek mythology: The head of Medusa. Medusa is one of the more unusual divine figures of ancient Greece mythology.. One of a trio of Gorgon sisters, Medusa was the only sister who was not immortal. In so doing, we unravel a familiar narrative thread: In Western culture, strong women have historically been imagined as threats requiring male conquest and control, and Medusa herself has long been the go-to figure for those seeking to demonize female authority. However, unlike her other sisters (Sthenno and Euryale), Medusa was a mortal and therefore vulnerable to the perils of the human world. 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