As most of you know, I’m all about the Greeks… of ancient times that is. I mean, I’m not opposed to meeting and fawning over some gorgeous Greek of today – but I probably won’t dedicate a blog post to it. Probably. Well, maybe… If he was really lovely… But I digress Since I don’t know of any present day Greek ‘Gods’ worthy of adoration, I’ll stick to sharing some interesting myth snippets that I’ve unearthed through my writing.
Case One: Perseus and Medusa
Medusa has always fascinated me. Partly because she is (to me) misunderstood. But the fact that there’s little known about her myth that’s agreed upon makes her an ideal candidate for exploration. She’s now one of my favorite heroine’s – my version of her anyway. But we’ll focus mostly on Perseus this time…
One thing everyone agrees upon: Perseus is sent, by the Olympians, to kill Medusa. And he’s successful on his quest. Medusa’s head is a weapon – those that look upon her turn to stone.
Whether Perseus knew Andromeda before or after the slaying of Medusa is debated. Some believe Perseus knew and loved Andromeda when he set off - that Medusa’s head was needed to save her from death at the hands of the Krakken. Others suggest he saw Andromeda for the first time after he’d cut off Medusa’s head and was flying home. Struck by her beauty, he made a detour to rescue her. With or without Andromeda, Perseus needed Medusa’ head. His mother, Danae, was being relentlessly pursued by an unsavory suitor and Perseus thought to put a very final end to the one sided courtship. What matters is that Perseus was out to protect the woman, or women, he loved. So even though he kills a beloved heroine (again, my version) – I applaud him for his chivalrous behavior and devotion to his woman/women.
Why was Perseus chosen? Here’s the rub. Zeus was a bit of a player and Perseus is the result of one such amorous encounter. But Zeus, for all of his ruling the Gods and Olympus, is a bit thick. He wants this son, Perseus, to find favor with his wife. I mentioned Hera in an earlier post – she’s not the most forgiving of deities or wives. Yet Zeus decides Medusa might offer a way to introduce his wife, the jealous Hera, to his bastard son in a favorable light… I’m not so sure there’s ever a way to be introduced to your husbands get from another woman, but I appreciate the dramatic lengths he went to to try.