A Gorgan. The name derives from an ancient Greek word meaning dreadful. It’s an appropriate description for Medusa and her kind. They’re ugly creatures with slithering snakes for hair, who can turn anyone to stone at a glance. A fun topic for #ImmortalMonday.
Medusa the Monster
Not that long ago I was reading a great story based on the idea there was an entire society of creatures like Medusa. This would support the theory that she was born a monster, one of three sisters and, ironically, the only one of them mortal. Medusa’s sisters, Stheno and Euryale were thought to be immortal, but poor Medusa would fall to Perseus’ hand.
Medusa the Beauty
In more recent versions of Medusa’s tale, she is said to be a ravenous beauty. A maiden that inspired jealousy in many suitors, even the gods. When Poseidon caught site of her, he decided he had to have her. Only she wanted nothing to do with him and ran to Athena’s temple seeking protection from his seduction attempts. Poseidon showed no regard for their surroundings and forced his way upon Medusa anyway. When he got caught raping Medusa in Athena’s temple by the goddesses herself Athena was so enraged she cursed the maiden, Medusa, with the hideous look that turned onlookers into stone. She didn’t blame Poseidon.
It is said that Medusa was impregnated by Poseidon and, when Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a golden sword-wielding giant, sprang from her body. Hell of a birth, wouldn’t you say?
Medusa gained her immortality through the fame of her myth. Assuming for a moment that the second fable was true, do you think Medusa deserved Athena’s wrath? Or is it clearly a story written by a man at a time when women’s rights had not yet been established?