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Medusa – Greek Mythology

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In Greek Myth

photo credit wikipedia
photo credit wikipedia

Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, young lady of Phorcys and Ceto. She was the emerge of the Gorgons who was at risk to mortality. She is lauded for her own charms and the grandness of her jolts. Neptune got the opportunity to be enthralled of her, and gained her backings in the asylum of Minerva. This encroachment of the holiness of the haven induced Minerva, and she changed the delightful locks of Medusa, which had stirred Neptune’s reverence to serpents.

As demonstrated by Apollodorus, Medusa and her sisters turned out to be genuinely buzzing with snakes on their heads, as opposed to hair, with yellow wings and flagrant hands. Their bodies were in like manner secured with impenetrable scales, and their greatly looks had the power of executing or swinging to stones. Perseus rendered his name undying by his accomplishment of Medusa. He evacuate her head, and the blood that dropped from the harm conveyed the boundless serpents that torment Africa.

The victor set Medusa’s head on the shield of Minerva, which he had used as a piece of his endeavor. The head still held the same petrifying force as some time as of late, as it was mortally known in the court of Cepheus, some accept that the Gorgons were a nation of women, whom Perseus won.

Camille Dumoulié

Medusa’s head, a clearly direct subject associated with the myth of Perseus, was freed through being isolated and cut free from its “moorings” by the legend in the remote profundities of the world. There is something confusing about the story since the mammoth was all the more indestructible in light of the way that it had been butchered. Without a doubt, the figure of Medusa is depicted by peculiarity, both to the extent the genuine fanciful look, which swung men to stone, and in the explanations that have been given to it. The hobby that she applies rises up out of a blend of radiance and dreadfulness. Her head was used, in Ancient times, as an apotropaic shroud – a sort of talisman which both killed and recuperated.

Furthermore being the very picture of ambiguity, Medusa’s head is in like manner a champion amongst the most old fanciful figures, possibly a resonation of the fallen angel Humbaba who was guillotined by Gilgamesh. Everything proposes that it is a “representation” of the most noteworthy part of the sacred. Seeing that it is the piece of composing to expect commitment in regards to the consecrated, each period, when confronted with the question of the ‘origins’, has reexamined Medusa’s head with its hypnotizing look as something which conceals the riddle of the blessed.


If vulnerability is the indication of the sanctified, the piece of myths, as René Gerard shows in his La Violence et le Sacré (1972) is to make differentiations and contrasts, to perceive the two appearances of the heavenly. As needs be, from the point of view of the most prepared compositions which are reliable with the spirit of the myth, Medusa is a representation of the Other by morals of her preeminent and disturbing refinement. At first sight, her colossal unpleasantness and her petrifying look most likely bear this out.

In La Mort dans les Yeux (1985), Vernant demonstrates that, for the Greeks, Medusa identifies with the substance of the warrior controlled by battle free for all. In The Shield of Heracles, Hesiod depicts the absolutely open mouth, the fearsome hair and the Gorgons’ grating cries which inspire her disturbing viewpoint. In this manner Medusa’s shroud periodically appears within the setting of a battle. It is accessible in the Iliad on the shields of Athena and Agamemnon, besides in the midst of the Renaissance.

The Gorgon also identifies with what can’t be addressed, i.e. end, which it is hard to see or to look at, as Hades itself. In Hesiod’s Theogony (275 et seq.) and in the Odyssey, Medusa is the guard of startling spots, either the evening edges of the world or the Underworld. She returns in this part in Dante’s Divine Comedy and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Guarding the passage to the universe of the dead, she keeps the living from entering.

In Christian symbolism, Medusa addresses the dreaded enemy and passing, and hence transforms into an embodiment of the Devil. She appears in this appearance in a segment in the Book of Arthur which has a spot with the cycle of the Holy Grail. In reality, this is a female animal, the ‘Horrible Semblance’, who lives at the base of a conduit. She doesn’t rehearse her forces by swinging people to stone, however by realizing the waters to eat them up. In this manner, a play by Calderón, which describes the endeavors of Andromeda and Perseus, has the holy person, another incarnation of the Savior, overcoming Medusa who is the encapsulation of Death and Sin.

photo credit wikimedia
photo credit wikimedia

At first look, hence, Medusa’s head is all that much a representation of the startling Other, of aggregate negativity. She continues satisfying this limit in the twentieth-century set of three by the Greek writer Pandelis Prevelakis, The Ways of Creation, which includes The Sun of Death, The Head of the Medusa (Athens, 1963) and The Bread of the Angels (Athens, 1966). In the arrangement of three, the Gorgon identifies with both ‘Nietzschian doubt’ and the outside theories which cripple Hellenism. The holy person leaves to free Greece eventually from the animal, in any case he fails and comprehends that there is no more a singular piece of untaited area in his country. Everything centers to the way that the illness specific to cutting edge Greece, and the country’s weakness to suit, change, have impelled this massive “representation” of the Other. Medusa’s head does truth be told seem, by all accounts, to be a spread which serves to legitimize her incomparable and vindictiveness unusualness.

The way that Medusa is a shroud and this spread hides a more human face, is borne out by the course in which her portrayal is made from the preclassical period to the Hellenistic period. There is a twofold change i.e. the vanishing of both facial quality and deformity. Underneath the cover untruths what could be called Medusa’s ‘frightful heavenliness’.


Various segments of the myth propose, through its vital vulnerability, the miserable method for Medusa. A champion amongst the most revealing of these is the gift from Athena to Asclepius of two drops of the Gorgon’s blood, one of which can cure and even restore, while the other is a perilous lethal substance. Medusa’s blood is along these lines the epitome of the ‘pharmakon’, while she herself – as is demonstrated by the apotropaic limit of her cloak – is a ‘pharmakos’.

As has been shown by René Girard, the “pharmakos” is the substitute whose retribution sets up the twofold method for the holy and invigorates the parcel of the mammoth and the god. In any case, it is for composing and human expressions to reveal the comfortable relationship amidst substitute extremes and the “guiltlessness” of the loss. In such manner, the myth of Medusa is revealing. In his study The Mirror of Medusa (1983), Tobin Siebers has perceived the importance of two segments, i.e. the conflict amidst Athena and the Gorgon, and the mirror subject.

As demonstrated by Ovid, the reason behind the verbal confrontation lay in Poseidon’s attack of Medusa inside the asylum of the virgin goddess. The goddess ought to have rebuked Medusa by transforming her face, which in like manner made Medusa an unadulterated loss for the second time. In any case, another tradition, used by Mallarmé as a piece of Les Dieux obsolescents (1880), concentrated on a more individual dispute: Medusa had gloated that she was more brilliant than Athena. Everything centers to the face that the goddess suspected that it was vital to particular herself from her negative twofold remembering the deciding objective to express her “own” character. Typical components are different.

For example, snakes are the nature of Athena, as spoke to by the prominent statue of Phidias and appeared by certain Orphic melodies which suggest her as ‘la Serpentine’. Moreover, the trancelike look is one of the segments of the goddess ‘with blue-green eyes’, whose youngster is the owl, outlined with an unblinking look. Finally, in light of the way that she has joined Medusa’s head to her shield, in battle or in disdain she expect the startling appearance of the animal. In this manner, in the Aeneid, she conveys her fury by making flares shoot forward from her eyes. These discernments are proposed to exhibit that Athena and Medusa are the two indissociable parts of the same hallowed power.

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