The study of these stories of creation, good versus evil, life and death, god and the afterlife is Mythology. ... she didnt have any super powers....but she was the greek queen of gods in the greek mythology ... Uranus is in Roman mythology, not Greek. Fact 1: In Greek mythology, Medusa was a fearsome Gorgon.  "You only have to look at the Medusa straight on to see her," writes Cixous. Gorgons are capable of turning their foes to stone, although how they go about this has been shown to vary to some extent. Make sure you keep on reading to learn 50 facts about the mysterious Gorgon, Medusa. Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon.". The King wishes to marry Perseus’ mother, but Perseus won’t allow it. Coral is allegedly Medusa’s blood, which spilled into the sea and was petrified. In one interview after another we were told that Medusa is 'the most horrific woman in the world' ... [though] none of the women we interviewed could remember the details of the myth. Medusa embodies menstruation’s protective powers. 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. 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. In Freud's interpretation: "To decapitate = to castrate. Medusa was a monster from Greek mythology that was one of the three sisters including Euryale and Stheno.. 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.. 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. 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. It is depicted mainly as a female with many poisionous snakes in place of hair. Municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic, Ceremonial French military uniform belt of World War I, Medusa is honored in the following scientific names:, Classical Greek depiction of Medusa from the fourth century BC, The triple form is not primitive, it is merely an instance of a general tendency... which makes of each woman goddess a trinity, which has given us the. Cixous calls writing "an act which will not only 'realize' the decensored relation of woman to her sexuality, to her womanly being, giving her access to her native strength; it will give her back her goods, her pleasures, her organs, her immense bodily territories which have been kept under seal." 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. This power is likely enabled by Pegasus’ lineage (as he is a son of Poseidon). Through her passing, she gives the world important contributions to mythology and medicine while also providing the public with a new form of protection. Of the three Gorgons, Sthen… Beastmate Type : Human Originated Another myth holds that this is probably the reason why Libya has lots of snakes. According to legend, after Perseus beheaded Medusa, he was traveling back to save his mother when he happened upon Atlas – the giant Titan who held up the sky. Soon after Medusa became a priestess for Athena, she caught the eye of Poseidon. 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.. The legend of Perseus beheading Medusa means, specifically, that "the Hellenes overran the goddess's chief shrines" and "stripped her priestesses of their Gorgon masks", the latter being apotropaic faces worn to frighten away the profane. Another one of Pegasus’ powers is that he is known to have been able to make magical and inspiring fountains and springs come up from the Earth whenever he struck his hooves against the ground. 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. Others claim that she remained steadfast in her devotion to Athena. In some variations her face is disfigured with a beard and fangs (other versions do not tell of this disfigurement) and finally, her hair is transformed into venomous nest of snakes. He was also known to have ruled as king of Iberia. After all the trouble that has been caused by Athena’s betrayal of Medusa, the two are finally symbolically reunited when Perseus gives Medusa’s head to Athena after he has completed his journey. In fact, her head went on to inspire one of the most powerful talisman of it’s time – the Gorgoneion. That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B.C. This symbol was thought to keep evil away from those who invoked its protection by wearing it as a pendant. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). Many scholarly feminists tend to liken the image of Medusa to society’s attitude towards women of power. 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. 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. Powers and Abilities. In Greek mythology, Medusa is eventually killed by Perseus. The reason for this varies. Medusa’s blood is also credited with creating the Amphisbaena – a fearsome creature that resembled a dragon and had a snake’s head on the end of its tail. While Medusa was wrongfully punished by Athena and forced to live the rest of her life as a terrible monster, she experiences some redemption in death. She appeals to her goddess and asks for help in moving forward. According to Ovid, in northwest Africa, Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him. "Only the Gorgon has the savage, threatening appearance to serve as an immediately recognized symbol of rage and a protector of women's secrets," wrote Wilk. Freud hypothesized that the myth could symbolize the reaction of a young boy who has, up until a certain point in time, refused to entertain the idea of castration as a real possibility. Together, they were known to have birthed some of the most fearsome creatures in Greek mythology. 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. Another example is the coat of arms of Dohalice village in the Czech Republic. 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. After being violated by Poseidon, Medusa is devastated. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto.. Petrification: The ability to turn living beings into stone. However, she is slightly less vulnerable and thus more hits from the Blades of Chaos are needed to kill her. He is able to escape unseen thanks to his helm of invisibility. Perhaps then, Medusa is a tale of the great injustice that suffered by those who have done no wrong, and the unimportance of these injustices to the greater powers of this world. She appeals to Athena and asks that the goddess give her wisdom and advice in how to move forward. Updated March 7, 2020. Statues of Medusa were used to guard Pagan Greek temples. . 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. Its purpose was to act as a guardian for female power, keeping the book solely in the hands of women. " Cixous wants to destroy the phallogocentric system, and to empower women's bodies and language. Active Powers. 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. (Pythian Ode 12). There are many things that have to be figured out in this situation. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature, common features include hair of living, venomous snakes and ability to petrify other beings. The second to come forth from Medusa’s neck is Chrysaor. Medusa was the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto (though some sources claim Gorgon is her father). 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.. Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound describes them thus: 1. Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone. Teleportation: The ability to instantly teleport from one location to another. However, Medusa would not serve as a priestess for long. As years go by, she becomes more and more vicious and vengeful. Medusa has been depicted in several works of art, including: Medusa remained a common theme in art in the nineteenth century, when her myth was retold in Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology. Super Strength - Gorgons … Through many of her iterations, Medusa pushes back against a story that seeks to place the male, Perseus, at its center, blameless and heroic. Athena is enraged that her temple has been desecrated – especially because it had been defiled by her rival, Poseidon. When Perseus finally returns from his quest, King Polydectes is astonished to see the young hero alive. The Gorgoneion was an amulet that bore the head of a Gorgon. ", Medusa has sometimes appeared as representing notions of scientific determinism and nihilism, especially in contrast with romantic idealism. The head of Medusa is featured on some regional symbols. Regardless of which version is told, Medusa decides not to leave Athena’s temple because of her devotion. Lastly, from Hades he receives a helm of invisibility. Perseus complies and goes to the gods to help him on his journey. Atmokinesis: The ability to control weather elements. However, the Greeks did note in their myths that Cerberus was a fan of sweet things like honey cakes and music, and this became his undoing; the great musician … Numerous analyses have made us familiar with the occasion for this: it occurs when a boy, who has hitherto been unwilling to believe the threat of castration, catches sight of the female genitals, probably those of an adult, surrounded by hair, and essentially those of his mother. 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. Her father, Phorcys, was known to be a primordial sea god who had a fish tail, crab-like forearms, and red, spiky skin. From Hephaestus (the god of blacksmiths and metal workers) he receives a sword. This is one of the first instances that Medusa’s powers have been used to show the protective nature of the Gorgons. Petrification: Medusa is cursed to be a Gorgon and has the ability to turn beings into stone by just looking at them. They also have the power to turn anyone who gazes upon their faces to stone. 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. 1 Power and Abilities 2 Weaknesses 3 Appearances 4 Lore 5 Trivia Paralyzing Poison - Gorgons possess a powerful paralyzing poison, the source of the myth about Medusa and gorgons in general being able to turn people into stone. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. Krisgon Blade: The Medusa Beastmate wields a kris-style blade for combat. " 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. Medusa was beheaded by the Greek hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. As soon as Perseus cuts off Medusa’s head, her two children are born. 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. The story of Medusa and her sister’s transformation into the dreaded Gorgons is both tragic and insightful. From this point on, the sisters are known to be vicious monsters that take their vengeance on any man that sets foot on their island. From Hades should send up an awful monster's grisly head. In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa is a Gorgon, one of three hideous sisters whose appearance turns men to stone. 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. The sisters are enraged, but unable to do anything but mourn. Medusa’s only real “power” was that if you looked directly at her, you would be turned into stone. Beastmate Info. Classic Medusa, in contrast, is an Oedipal/libidinous symptom. Medusa was one of the three Gorgons, daughters of Phorcys and Ceto, sisters of the Graeae, Echidna, and Ladon – all dreadful and fearsome beasts. They are disfigured in a similar manner and they return to the island of Sarpedon. ", 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. Her sisters (Stheno and Euryale) are also transformed. She doesn’t have any sympathy towards Medusa. Despite the death of Medusa, it is said that her head still had magical properties. Because the gods showed favor on him, he was given Hades' Helm of Invisibility, Winged Sandals from Hermes, a magnificent sword made by Hephaestus, and a shield from Athena which would later become the Aegis. World Register of Marine Species. This shield is sometimes called a mirror and other times called a shield of bronze that was polished so much it reflected quite easily. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. Medusa was a major character in Legend Quest and primary antagonist of the episode "Ghost of Medusa".She was a member of the Gorgon race who had the unique ability to turn all those who gazed into her eyes into stone. Many versions claim that the sisters were transformed because they defend Medusa and undermine the will of Athena. As he flies over Libya, each drop of blood that falls to the ground transforms into a venomous viper. This poison is so potent that it can even affect a Seraphim. Glamouring: The ability to change one's appearance. The Medusa story has also been interpreted in contemporary art as a classic case of rape-victim blaming, by the Goddess Athena. As a trick, Polydectes tells Perseus to bring him the head of Medusa (which is essentially a suicide mission). She was born on an island named Sarpedon – which is thought to be somewhere in the general area of Cisthene – and was known to have been one of the Gorgon sisters. Modern day feminists have also taken a stance on the symbolism that surrounds Medusa. From Athena he receives a mirrored shield. They fly out of her neck, fully grown. "Medusa has since haunted Western imagination, materializing whenever male authority feels threatened by female agency," writes Johnston. This power was given to Asclepius who used it accordingly. He believes that one reason for her longevity may be her role as a protector, fearsome and enraged. He then sneaks onto the island of Sapharose and beheads Medusa while she sleeps by using Athena’s mirrored shield to guide his movements so that he does not have to look at Medusa directly. This is when Poseidon decides to ravage Medusa in Athena’s temple. Eventually, Medusa was known to have been transformed into a beast that would be feared by all because she was considered responsible for the desecration of Athena’s temple. 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. Medusa was an enemy of the Amazons, she was killed by Wonder Woman. 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. User with this ability either is or can transform into an gorgon, a terrifying female creature of Greek mythology. Because her head was placed on Athena’s shield (the Aegis) and her blood was revealed to hold the power of both life and death, Medusa’s head became a symbol of protection. Energy Slash: The Medusa Beastmate can generate energy slashes from the Krisgon Blade. The three Gorgon sisters; Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale, were children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys and his sister Ceto, (the spelling vary based on accounts), chthonic monsters from an ancient world. Her father, Phorcys, was known to be a primordial sea god who had a fish tail, crab-like forearms, and red, spiky skin. Last, though certainly not least, many see the story of Medusa as a reminder of the many dynamics that come into play when the greater forces of the world (in this case, the gods of Mount Olympus) are at work. Euryale’s cries echo through the island – an act for which she becomes most famous in mythology. Stephen Wilk, author of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon, questioned Medusa's enduring status among the feminist movement.  In this interpretation of Medusa, attempts to avoid looking into her eyes represent avoiding the ostensibly depressing reality that the universe is meaningless. 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. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters named the Graeae. He tries to sneak off the island, but Medusa’s body is discovered by her sisters before he can leave. There are no recorded instances of Medusa turning a woman to stone. "From Gorgon and Ceto, Sthenno, Euryale, Medusa". She is famed for her snake-like hair and her gaze, which turns those who look at her to stone. 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. The first is that Medusa is no longer a virgin – though she was deflowered against her will. This is likely due in part to Zeus and Athena, who were both known to wear a Gorgoneion. The model was one Harryhausen’s most complex and in 2020 it was voted third favourite among his many creations. Her mother, Ceto, was also a primordial sea goddess. Medusa becomes pregnant and is both angered and confused. It is also known that two drops of her blood were placed in a vial. It was a great compliment for Medusa to pledge her loyalty to Athena because of her great beauty – especially since one of the requirements to be a temple priestess was to remain a virgin. A Gorgon is a type of monster generally described as a “winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair”. The daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, she was born in the caverns beneath Mount Olympus. During one of her rampages, she turned her attention to … The 2nd-century BC novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion. Probably the feminine present participle of. In Greek mythology, Medusa (/mɪˈdjuːzə, -sə/; Μέδουσα "guardian, protectress") also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. 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. The terror of Medusa is thus a terror of castration that is linked to the sight of something. The second is that because she lost her virginity to Poseidon (and is now pregnant by him) she is technically his wife according to the laws of the day. The gods were well aware of this, and Perseus received help. The character of Medusa changes greatly after Athena punishes her unjustly. While the lock of hair itself didn’t have the power to petrify a rival warrior, it would strike a terrible fear into the heart of anyone who had the misfortune of seeing it. 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