The myth regarding Medusa may be the most confusing, especially when reviewing the literary works in Greek antiquity. Medusa is an exceptional divine figure in ancient Greece. On the one hand, the old versions like Theogony describe her as a monster rather than a princess who had been punished for her behavior. In this narrative, she is one of the three sisters born from Phorkys and Ceto. The two are monster-like gods.
On the other hand, the second version, as created by Ovid, describes her as a devastatingly beautiful princess who men coveted. She has been described as one of the trio-Gorgon sisters and the only one who was immortal. She is famous for having snake-like hair growing, and her gaze would turn people into stones. Initially, she was the beautiful princess who became Athena’s priestess. However, Poseidon was attracted to her stunning beauty and turned out to be an object of revenge against Athena.
In the later version, Medusa was a golden-haired maiden who was kind-natured and had devoted herself to celibacy under the goddess Athena.
One of the requirements for one to be a priestess is being a virgin and dedicating one’s life to the virgin goddess of wisdom and battle. While in Athena’s temple, Medusa caught the eye of Poseidon, the god of the sea and a rival to Athena. However, Medusa was loyal to Athena, and she rejected him. Poseidon was angered, and he decides to take her in the temple in order to humiliate Athena. This turned Medusa into a vulnerable and weak being. As a result, Medusa prayed for guidance and forgiveness, but Athena looked down in anger and cursed her.
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