Medusa (Myths and Legends of the World)
Medusa, one of three sisters in Greek mythology known as the Gorgons, had a destructive effect upon humans. In many myths, she appeared as a horribly ugly woman with hair made of snakes, although occasionally she was described as being beautiful. In both forms, Medusa's appearance was deadly: any person who gazed directly at her would turn to stone.
Although the two other Gorgons were immortal,able to live forever Medusa was not. One of the best-known legends about her tells of how the Greek hero Perseus killed her. Perseus and his mother, Danaë, lived on the island of Seriphos, which was ruled by King Polydectes. The king wanted to marry Danaë, but Perseus opposed the marriage. Polydectes then chose another bride and demanded that all the islanders give him horses as a wedding gift. Perseus, who had no horses, offered to give Polydectes anything else. Because no man had ever survived an encounter with the Gorgons, Polydectes challenged Perseus to bring him the head of Medusa.
With the help of the goddess Athenain Greek mythology, goddess of wisdom and war; the daughter of Zeus (Roman goddess Minerva) and a group of nymphs,minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful Perseus obtained special equipment for his task: a sharpened sickle,...
(The entire section is 364 words.)
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