Essay on The Greek Religious mythology Hellenism

Essay on The Greek Religious mythology Hellenism

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Throughout the many stories in the Greek religious mythology Hellenism, which meant to teach lessons and explain how the world works, there are a vast number of characters. One that has become quite known today through the media, and even teachings in school, is the gorgon Medusa. The name gorgon is derived from the Greek word gorgos, meaning “fierce”, “terrible” or “dreadful”. A gorgon is traditionally a repulsive creature with an innate hatred towards men and the ability to turn people to stone with a single look into their eyes. Some stories even write that their ability extended to not just humans and other animals, but also plant life in the sea. Greek literature and art often depict the gorgons as having scaly skin, large talons, wings, and the tusks of a boar; even when these additional attributes are not present, Medusa and her sisters possess horrid visages framed by nests of live, venomous snakes. Among the three sisters, Medusa, Stheno and Euryale, only Medusa was mortal, and thus the only one able to die.
The first tales to circulate in ancient Greece about Medusa emphasized the terribleness of the gorgons, making them out to be evil creatures warring with men. Earlier myths tell that Medusa, Stheno and Euryale are the daughters of Phorcys and Ceto, both sea deities that presided over and represented the dangers of the sea. The gorgons are a part of the collective group of sea monsters created as a result of the union between Phorcys and Ceto called Phorcydes that wreaked havoc on sailors and fishermen.
Another, more recent version of Medusa’s story sets her as once being a beautiful woman with shining hair and a beauty that many said rivaled Athena’s. She was a priestess/handmaiden in Athena’s temple. Poseidon, god ...


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...r virginity to anyone but the man she married, she would be socially “ruined”. Perseus later uses Medusa’s head to take revenge on King Atlass of Mauritania, who had not shown him hospitality in the past, and uses it as a weapon against the rest of his enemies, as her ability to turn life to stone remains even after death.



Works Cited

Atsma, Aaron J. "Perseus." PERSEUS : Hero ; Greek mythology ; pictures. 2000-2011. 26 Feb. 2014 .

Atsma, Aaron J. "Medusa & the Gorgones." MEDUSA & the GORGONS : Serpent-Haired Monsters Greek mythology, w/ pictures, Medousa, Gorgones. 2000-2011. 25 Feb. 2014 .

Kline, Anthony. "Book IV." Ovid: The Metamorphoses. 2000. Anthony Kline. 26 Feb. 2014 . Book IV: Perseus tells the story of Medusa

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