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Hello everyone. After following Jason and his famous Argonauts's adventures, we
are going to focus today on another great Greek mythological hero,
the famous Perseus. An amazing adventure filled with abused women, excessive manlihood
and a good deal of divinities and Iron Man-like artefacts...Here we go!
To begin with, there is several versions of Perseus's adventure and this one
is a mix between Homer's, Hesiod's and Pherecydes's versions.
There are other versions offering their own details, but they are regarded as
less important. This story begins with the quarrel between
two twin brothers, Proetus and Acrisius, for the control of the city of Argos and
for their father's kingdom. If the mood is not the fairest between the brothers,
the situation becomes extremely tensed when Proetus decides it might be smart
to flirt with his brother's daughter...his niece isn't it... Young Danaë then finds herself
at the heart of a sensitive matter and things won't evolve in an easy way
since her father, praying to have a son, consult an oracle who tells him that, not
only it would never happen, but also that his grand-son, therefore
Danaë's son, would kill him. To garantuee his own safety, Acrisius
locks his daughter in a donjon, safe from the carnal desire of his brother.
The matter could have ended there, but it wouldn't be any fun and Zeus, the
most famous womanizer, decides to sneak into the donjon under the shape
of a golden rain to seduce the young woman and make her a child.
When he discover the truth, Acrisus does not know what to do. He is torn apart at
this difficult choice: killing his own daughter with her child, or do
nothing and wait his upcoming death. With bravery and consciousness, he
then decides to lock his daughter and the child in a wooden chest, which he throws in
the sea. Yes, I hadn't seen this one coming.
This chest drifts and grounds on Seriphos island, where a fisherman finds it, free
the prisonners and introduces them to the local king, a despot in his own time.
You guessed right, this child born from the union between Zeus and Danaë is
Perseus who grows up on the island and becomes a tall and handsome lad.
For Danaë, his mother, there is still troubles to come as Polydectes,
the despot, is clearly fond of her and tries to make her marry him. Perseus
is firmly opposed, aware of the man's strong temper, and this is where Perseus
odyssey begins. Polydectes then pretends to marry another
woman and ask Perseus a horse as a wedding gift. The young man does not
have the means and wants to show off a bit in front of the audience and replies he'd
better bring him back the famous Gorgon Medusa's head. An unfortunate statement for
our young hero since the despot agrees and asks him to honor this mission.
Before going further, one question has to be dealt with: who is Medusa?
Originally, Medusa is an incredibly beautiful young woman, whom main asset is her hairs.
Pretenders rushes to seduce her, even Poseidon takes a chance
and seduce the girl at the heart of Athena's temple. After they're done their business, Athena
and Medusa chat a bit and the poor girl dare to pretend her beauty
is probably superior to the goddess's. Athena, quite annoyed by this
pretentious mortal , decides to changer her hairs into snakes and to curse
her, making anyone crossing her gaze immediatey changed into
stone. Since then, Medusa lives recluse wither her two immortal
sisters, petrifying every adventurer coming too close to her.
When Athena heards of Perseus's expedition and his goal, she decides to
help him and offers him a reflecting shield, which allows the hero
to indirectly observe the Gorgon without any risk. Another god, Hermes, also brings Perseus
his help by giving him a weapon with which he could cut Medusa's
Still, a major problem remains. Perseus is not fully equipped for his quest yet to get
to the Gorgone's place, who he has to fight. Therefore, he has to get three objects
back, all of them owned by the nymphs, for him to leave in peace. Hades's helmet
allows him to be invisible, a pair of winged sandal giving him the gift
to fly and lastly, a shoulder bag in which he could protect the Gorgon's head.
Like Russian dolls, fitting one into another, a problem suddenly adds to the other:
Perseus doesn't know where to find the nymphs. So Hermes leads him to
the Graeae, three ladies incarnated into swans who only own a teeth and an eye
they have to share and who are the only ones to know the nymph's location.
Perseus starts his journey, steals the Graeae's eye and tooth, making them tell him
the nymph's location and takes off to get the perfect little warrior's outfit.
In many movies or modern books I read, an epic fight
takes place with Medusa during which, most of the time, the hero get lost in a temple's
maze in ruin, terrified of crossing the Gorgon's petrifying gaze. That's
a pretty picture, isn't it, but according to the ancient sources, which are obviously also
fiction, well...Perseus finds the three Gorgons asleep when he gets there and therefore
he cuts Medusa's head off in her sleep and puts it in his shoulder bag.
However, a strange phenomenon occurs during the beheading: a winged horse,
Pegasus, gets out of Medusa's corpse. It's a child of Poseidon and Perseus adopts it,
even though the hero didn't really needed it since he had his magic sandals
but anyway...we shouldn't seek for too much logic in mythology if we want to avoid
an headache. So, after Medusa's ***, Perseus flee
the area because Medusa's sisters get really angry, but thanks to Hades's
helmet and its invisiblity trick, the hero gets out without any harm. On his way
back, he uses on many occasion Medusa's head to petrify his ennemies
and he even allows himself the luxury to save a princess, Andromeda, who was condemn
to get eaten by a sea monster. He then finds his mother back, petrifies the despot
who had sent him on the mission and makes governor the fisherman who
had found him as a child. Then, he leaves to the city of Argos in order
to get back the land of his ancesters. The king of the city, Acrisius, decides to flee
the city as he remembers the dreadful prophecy. Unfortunately for the king, no one escape
their destiny and like in a ''Final Destination'' movie, what was bound to happen did...
In another city, Teutamides, its king, holds some funeral games after
the death of his father. Perseus asks to join the games as an athlet
and, probably out of curiosity, Acrisius come to see him in the galleries, far
enough to take no chance. It's during the discus throw that the
tragedy come to an end. Perseus focuses, thrown the the discus with a prodigious force
and the latter veers beyond the limits and ends up its course
in Acrisius's head, thus accomplishing the prophecy.
I guess that, like the rest of us, he haven't seen that one coming...
That's all my friends, I hope you liked the episode. We don't know exactly in
what circumstances Perseus finished his life but there is no risk saying that he
had a lot of stories to tell around the fire. As usual, suscribe
if it isn't already done, leave a thumb up and, if you desire it,
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