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Often asked: What is the legend of Medusa?

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.

What does the story of Medusa teach us?

In examining the myth of Athena and Medusa further, the story also seems to be a suggestive fable, slyly teaching women how to look out for and protect one another in a society dominated by men, where rape is a constant threat. Athena was aware of Poseidon’s hunger for Medusa and knew of Medusa’s vow of celibacy.

What did Medusa do wrong?

She was lovely, according to the poem—until she was raped in Athena’s temple by Poseidon. Athena then punished her for this violation, by turning her into the monstrous, stony-glanced creature that we know. Yes: punished for being raped. In classical sources, in fact, she’s not always monstrous.

Why does Medusa have snakes on her head?

In later myths (mainly in Ovid) Medusa was the only Gorgon to possess snake locks, because they were a punishment from Athena. Accordingly, Ovid relates that the once beautiful mortal was punished by Athena with a hideous appearance and loathsome snakes for hair for having been raped in Athena’s temple by Poseidon.

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What does the Medusa represent?

Medusa symbolizes death, violence, and erotic desire. Once an enthralling beauty she was turned into a monstrosity after she was raped by a god. Such is her beauty that even powerful men couldn’t resist her charms. She can be equally enchanting and dangerous, and in some cases, she can be fatal.

How did Medusa look before she was cursed?

Legend states that Medusa was once a beautiful, avowed priestess of Athena who was cursed for breaking her vow of celibacy. 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 was turned a greenish hue.

How does Medusa relate to today?

The earliest portrayals of Medusa show a grotesque part human, part animal creature with wings and boar-like tusks. Today Medusa, with her snake hair and stare that turns people to stone, endures as an allegorical figure of fatal beauty, or a ready image for superimposing the face of a detested woman in power.

Why did Medusa get cursed?

Medusa prayed to Athena for guidance and forgiveness. After all, in those days, the gods claimed their mates as their partner forever, and Medusa was now Poseidon’s wife. Athena looked down in anger and cursed Medusa for betraying her. Medusa was sent to a faraway island and was cursed so that no man would want her.

Is Medusa a victim or villain?

Medusa was raped by Poseidon, but instead of being defended by her patron goddess, Athena, she was punished for being raped. This makes Medusa a victim.

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What was Medusa’s real name?

In Greek mythology, Medusa (/mɪˈdjuːzə, -sə/; Ancient Greek: 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.

Who is Medusa’s husband?

One of the most popular monsters of Greek Mythology, Medusa was a beautiful maiden with golden hair. She vowed to be celibate her entire life as a priestess of Athena until she fell in love with Poseidon. She went against her vow and married him. For this Athena punished her hideously.

Was Athena protecting Medusa?

Athena is a virgin goddess, one who was the patron of Medusa. When Poseidon raped Medusa, she called out to Athena for both forgiveness and guidance. Thus, transforming Medusa was not an act of rage, rather, it was an act of protection. Athena could not punish Poseidon for what he did to Medusa.

Can Medusa turn herself into stone?

Medusa is known for being so ugly that if men even look at her face, they would immediately be turned into stone statues. Perseus was somehow able to overcome this challenge of killing her by looking at her reflection in a mirror.

What does Medusa symbolize spiritually?

Medusa could have been a very prototypical goddess of a matriarchal society. Her hair of snakes and reptilian skin are symbolic of the natural cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

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