Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Gorgons

Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.

Just about everybody knows about Medusa, the half woman-half snake creature from Greek Mythology who could turn you to stone. But did you know that she had sisters? Oh yes. Three lovely ladies with snakes on their heads...and if anyone looked them straight in the eyes, they'd turn to stone.

It's interesting that Stheno and Euryale were immortal. In fact, they supposedly had different parents. Maybe Medusa's tragic tale is why she is more well known than her other sistes.

Stheno was the eldest sister, born in the caverns of Mt. Olympus. Stheno was the worst of the three. She had killed more people than her sisters combined. Maybe it's because she was turned into a monster because she happened to be standing right next to Medusa when Athena turned them into scary creatures.


Euryale is the middle sister. Her claim to fame is her ferocious cry when her sister, Medusa, is killed.

Medusa is the youngest, and she was seduced by Poseidon. Athena found them in her temple, and she was so ticked off, she turned Medusa and her sisters into Gorgons complete with snakes for hair, fangs, and wicked faces. Some even say they had wings and looked more like demons.

Perseus, the Greek hero, was on a quest to appease a king, and he killed Medusa by beheading her. The sisters went after him, but Perseus flew away using Hermes' winged sandals.

Many psychologists (Freud), philosophers, and writers (Jack London) have all given their opinions on what Medusa represents. I think it's safe to say she is "female fury" personified. 

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I never knew Medusa had sisters.

Anne Marie Schlueter said...

I never knew Medusa had sisters either! Very interesting.

Sarah Foster said...

I love Greek mythology and I didn't know Medusa had sisters, either! Very interesting stuff!

Pat Dilloway said...

Those Greek gods were such jerks. It's not enough to just break up with Poseidon, you got to turn the offending woman (and her sisters) into monsters.

Chrys Fey said...

I read about gorgon's for the first time in the book A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, but she didn't explain much about them, so having the story behind gorgons is really nice.

Christine Rains said...

The Gorgons are fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Pat Hatt said...

I knew there was 3 as I used them in a book.

farawayeyes said...

Gotta love Gorgons. After all a woman's crowning glory is her hair. Right?

Matthew MacNish said...

I'd forgotten about the other two sisters!

2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

Patricia Lynne said...

I knew Medusa had sisters, but hadn't heard their names.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
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Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

cleemckenzie said...

I guess Medusa became so famous because of all those snakes. An immense and quite ancient stone head of her is in the cistern under Istanbul. Quite a sight to find in the dim underground light.

Jo said...

Same here, didn't know about the sisters. They certainly had to cope with bad hair days.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Of course the girl who was seduced gets punished but not the manly god.

betty said...

I did know that Medusa had sisters. I'm not sure I would want to be part of their family tree :)

betty

Tizzy Brown said...

I knew Medusa had sisters but I didn't know their names or stories. Thanks for sharing!

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I always thought it was terribly unfair to punish Medusa but not Poseidon, especially because in some stories she was raped, not seduced. Not Athena's brightest moment.

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

Roessel Morton Celeste Nicholas Thornton said...

amazing one...

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