Herodotus the historian said her home was Libya. 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. Greek poet Hesiod wrote that Medusa lived close to the Hesperides in the Western Ocean near Sarpedon. It was chosen because she represents beauty, art, and philosophy.

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.

There are several versions of the Medusa myth. So, in a twisted series of events, Medusa fulfills her role of protecting Athena. [19][20][21][22] The name "Medusa" itself is often used in ways not directly connected to the mythological figure but to suggest the gorgon's abilities or to connote malevolence; despite her origins as a beauty, the name in common usage "came to mean monster. Man, awake, is compelled to seek a perpetual escape into Hope, Belief, Fable, Art, God, Socialism, Immortality, Alcohol, Love. 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.[38]. With the support of some Greek gods and goddesses, Perseus was fully armed for this adventure of his.He got a hat of invisibility from Hades, the god of the underworld; a pair of winged sandals from the Greek messenger god Hermes; a reflective bronze shield from Athena; and a sword from Hephaestus, the god of the forge.. Perseus managed to get Medusa’s location from Graeae. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis. From Hades should send up an awful monster's grisly head. She is immediately recognizable, a classical figure and an exciting symbol of a monster. One requirement to be a priestess for Athena is that the young woman must be a virgin and give her life to the goddess. The head of Medusa is featured on some regional symbols. Generally described as a winged human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. She vowed to be celibate her entire life as a priestess of Athena until she fell in love with Poseidon. An image of Medusa's head was placed on Athena's own armor or shown on her shield. "And she's not deadly. 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": Gazers upon her face would turn to stone. Medusa is one of the most famous characters of Greek mythology. She turned Medusa into a hideous hag, making her hair into writhing snakes and her skin was turned a greenish hue.

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. Until Perseus, son of Zeus was tasked with retrieving her head. Elizabeth Johnston's November 2016 Atlantic essay called Medusa the original 'Nasty Woman.' The other two sisters were Stheno and Euryale. 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:[39], The petrifying image of Medusa makes an instantly recognizable feature in popular culture. The three Gorgon sisters, Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorkys (or "Phorkys") and his sister Ceto (or "Keto"), chthonic monsters from an archaic world. 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.Their genealogy is shared with other sisters named the Graeae.Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound describes them thus: In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar already speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa". 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. Inscribe the breath of the whole woman. Her only companions are her living snake hair and the many statues that decorate her grove which she usually pretends to talk to in order to lessen her lonelin… She is not considered a goddess or Olympian, but some variations on her legend say she consorted with one. In her weakened state, she can't hold him off forever, but the goddess gets an A for vindictive tenacity. 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. She remained a priestess to Athena after her death and was risen with fresh hair. The flag and emblem of Sicily also features her head. Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone when he tried to attack him. The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage.