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Medusa: The Cursed Snake-Haired beauty of Greek Mythology

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Medusa is one of the attractions of Greek mythology. This beauty is known as 'Sarpakeshini' terrible giantess, whose head had snakes in place of hair, human head but body was like a reptile, but the most terrible was the look in her eyes, anyone would turn to stone in a moment as soon as she looked into her eyes. But behind this ugly face is the curse of goddess Athena. It is said that she was not born like this but was a beautiful woman. There is also some disagreement about the birth of Medusa and even her death. The demon dies at the hands of Perseus, the Greek hero demigod (half-human, half-god).

Medusa is believed to be the daughter of the giant monster Typhoeus and the half-serpent, half-human Echidna. They had three daughters. These three together were called Gorgon, which means terrible woman. The other two Gorgon sisters are Stheno and Uriel. Of these three sisters, except Medusa, the other two were immortal. Some say Medusa was not a Gorgon at first, she was very beautiful her parents are the sea gods Phorcys and Seto. She became a Gorgon after Athena's curse.

Stheno, Uriel and Medusa

Stheno, Uriel and Medusa

Mythology means various speculations and different opinions. The legend of cursed Medusa is no exception.


According to a myth, Medusa was a beautiful virgin woman with golden hair. Medusa lived far north and never saw the light of the sun. She was a priestess of the temple of the goddess Athena. She asked Athena for permission to come south. But when Athena refuses permission, Medusa angrily says, “Athena does not want to let me come to the south, because I am more beautiful than her!” Enraged Athena not only removed Medusa's beauty, but transformed her so ugly that any human or animal would turn to stone just by looking at her. Medusa's beautiful hair turns into venomous snakes, tender eyes transform into messengers of death, milky skin turns green like snakeskin.

Snake haired Medusa

Snake haired Medusa

Again according to the epic, Medusa was a beautiful virgin. Being a priestess of Athena's temple, she had to renounce earthly desires. Medusa's incredible form, her long golden hair attracted even the sea god Poseidon. One day Medusa had sex with Poseidon in Athena's temple at a cursed moment. There is disagreement as to whether the incident was intentional or Poseidon forced her to rape. But physical intercourse is forbidden within the sacred temple no matter how much Poseidon is the god of the sea. Athena was furious that such an incident had happened in her temple. Since he cannot say anything to Poseidon, he takes all his anger out on Medusa. And as a result, Medusa's cursed life begins. Note that Medusa became pregnant as a result of intercourse with Poseidon. For taking Medusa's side, her other two sisters were also made ugly as punishment.

Poseidon and Medusa

Poseidon and Medusa

Seeing her ugly condition, Medusa left the house and went away. And anger turns to violence. She traveled to different parts of Africa hoping to find peace, and sometimes snakes fell from her head to the ground. That's why Africa is home to many types of poisonous snakes! (although all are myths). Medusa's weapon was a large bow. But its real weapon was her eyes. Anyone who looked into that eye would immediately turn into stone. Those who went to her cave to kill her, no one came back.

The Greek hero who actually mentions the Gorgons is Perseus, son of Zeus. Medusa dies at the hands of the Greek hero demigod (half-human, half-god) Perseus.

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King Polydectus once told the story of the three monsters to Perseus and said that it would be the greatest gift if anyone could cut off the head of one of them. Guests invited to a king's banquet gave various gifts to the king. But Perseus has nothing to give. The king took a little sneer at this. The young and proud Perseus finally stood up and said, "I will give the king a gift that is worth more than all the goods here. I will present Medusa's scalp before the king".

The messenger god Hermes and the goddess Athena also helped in this plan of Perseus. A bronze shield given by Athena, a sword given by Hermes and winged slippers collected from the nymphs with their help, a magic bag that could hold any large object, and most importantly a magic hat that made the wearer disappear. Completely to face the Gorgons Perseus prepares for. Athena warned Perseus not to look at the Gorgons, but to look at his shield which would act as a mirror and with its help he would succeed in slaying the Gorgons. The goddess showed me Medusa. This is important because among the three sisters only two were immortal except Medusa. Winged Perseus flew up to watch the sleeping Medusa with her eyes on the slope looking directly at her would have turned to stone. At one point, Medusa's neck was pointed out and the sword was used. Without taking his eyes off the shield, he swooped down and clutched the crested head of Medusa's serpent. Put the thorn in the magic bag. Thus he declared the end of Medusa's life. By then the other two Gorgon sisters awoke, but there was nothing they could do as Perseus was able to fly to a safe distance with the magic hat and fan.

Perseus kills Medusa

Perseus kills Medusa

As Perseus carried Medusa's head in a sack, a drop of blood fell from Medusa's head into the sea. As mentioned earlier, Medusa was pregnant as a result of her union with the sea god Poseidon. This time, as soon as the drop of blood fell into the sea, a strange horse was born from there - Pegasus! Even on the way Perseus got into a spat with the Titan Atlas (who carried the whole world on his shoulders) and turned him to stone with Medusa's thorny eye. And this is how the Atlas Mountains of North Africa were created.

Pegasus

Pegasus

There is another story about the killing of Medusa.


The king and queen of the kingdom of Argos insulted the gods and sent a huge water monster called the Kraken to destroy them. There was no weapon to kill the monster. Even the gods feared him. The condition was that the princess must be sacrificed to him, or else everyone must die. It was later revealed that only the sight of Medusa's eyes could kill it. In the end Perseus, the son of Zeus, sets out to rescue the princess to kill Medusa and Perseus succeeds in cutting off her head. And held that head in front of the Kraken and turned him into stone. After killing Medusa, Pegasus and Chryseo were born from his thorn head.

Although Medusa was considered a demon, her head was carved on many shields and shields as a sign of protection. This fable of Perseus and Medusa inspired many writers and artists of ancient times. This fascinating phenomenon is widely recognized in their paintings, architecture and literature. It is also found in many ancient coins. Medusa has also merged with modern civilization. The famous sculpture of Perseus and Medusa can be seen in the main square of Florence, Italy. Every year many tourists visit the city of Florence to see the architecture.

Medusa in the logo of Versace

Medusa in the logo of Versace

Even the logo of the famous Italian fashion brand Versace features Medusa's head.

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