There are many variations of the story of Medusa. Yet, I find this one moredetailed and precise. Medusa is apart of the chain of Greek Mythology, these stories, orlegends are not real and usually said to get a point across, or entertainment. Medusa alsoshows the relationship the society had with women at that time. Medusa was a Gorgon, The Gorgon’s where three sisters, daughters of Phorcysand Ceto.
Their names where Stethno, Euryale, and Medusa. Stethno and Euryale whereimmortal, however Medusa was a mortal. The three sisters where known to be so ugly, ifanyone looked at them they would be killed instantly. Medusa was a Queen who reigned in the land around Tritons in Libya. She used tobe a beautiful Maiden and Triton fell in love with her. Medusa, after her encounter withTriton, Athena, turned into an ugly woman with snakes as hair, and anyone that lookedupon her would turn into stone.
Medusa had this spell cast upon her by Athena because,Medusa and Poseidon where caught sleeping together in one of Athena’s temples. Athenathen became very angry and in her rage, turned Medusa into an ugly woman. Thus, as the story goes Perseus (the son of Andromeda and Zeus), is assigned toassassinate Medusa. He kills her by coming to her in her sleep, then using a mirror looksto see her face, careful not to look at her, he cuts her head off. The blood that splurgedfrom her neck made the country of Libya infested, because her blood turned into snakes. Itis also said that Heracles is said to have obtained a lock of Medusa’s hair, which possessedthe same power as her head, from Athena.
He gave it to Sterope, the daughter ofCepheus, as protection for the town of Tegea against attack. When exposed to view, thelock was supposed to bring on a storm, which put the enemy to flight. In my mind Medusa has many different symbolic qualities. She showed strength,and that is why I think this story ties in with the equality of women. If a man was stronghe would not be persecuted just because he was a man. Yet, medusa was definitely pickedon by many people.
This also shows that the society then was scared of powerful women. Because why did people want her dead, it was the fact that she was very powerful andmight have intimidated many men.