Monsters can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They tend to look intimidating, scary, hideous, etc… Overtime the monsters appearance can have the same concepts, but change overtime.  Myths are intriguing tales and story, usually involving a type of monster, that we get hooked on “Myths… can register as heroic or prophetic, lustful, raged-filled, destructive, envious, greedy, vengeful, and… qualities”(Doris K. Silverman).  Well in the Greek mythical story that derives from around the years 500 B.C.E to 336 B.C.E. the story of Medusa began. The video “The story of Medusa” created by the History.com website and the short script “Medusa’s Tale “ by Carlo Lashof, explained the entire story of this so called monster named Medusa that started as a human. She was described as a gorgeous, she had long golden locks, perfect skin, and overall just a ravishing women.  Many men and gods desired and wanted to possess her. Even though many wanted her she was a priestess of Athena, and that meant she could not have romantic interactions with any man or god. Athena was a virgin goddess and sex was not at all part of her world. This meant any priestess of hers can not be involved in such actions as well. Medusa might have seemed like her life was easy since she was beautiful, but that all was changed by Poseidon.

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Poseidon known as god of the sea. Poseidon was extremely attracted to Medusa, and would do anything to be with her. Since, she could not have any interactions in that manner Poseidon raped her in Athena’s temple.This is when everything went wrong. Well, since she no longer was a virgin this meant she could no longer be a priestess of Athena or be eligible for marriage in the Greek times. Athena found out about this scandal and without warning cursed Medusa to a horrifying monster. Her skin was no longer perfect, but now was white and dead looking with many wrinkles. Her golden locks were turned into hissing snakes all over. The worst part for her was when people looked at her they would immediately turn to stone. Ultimately, Athena put Medusa into solitary confinement. It was a horrifying change for Medusa one day she was gorgeous and interacting with many the next she was a monster and became isolated. Later on in the story she was killed by Perseus.

Primarily in this video and short script that I encountered Medusa was considered a monster. With the hissing hair and other terrifying features. As Jeffrey J. Cohen explained in Thesis 1 “The monster’s body quite literally incorporates fear, desire,anxiety, and fantasy..”. Medusa possess all these qualities in the video from the History.com and the short tale by Ryan Oates. Fear, because many soldiers were scared to face the monster she turned into. Plus those who sent the soldiers desired her dead. Whomever encountered her would get anxious. Medusa as well is part of a story filled with many fantasies. So many use to be amused by admiring Medusa, but now can not take one glimpse of her.. They feared her for her powers and new identity, and for all these reasons Medusa is categorized as a monster.

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In thesis VI by Jeffery J. Cohen he explains  “The monster awakens one to the pleasure of the body, to the simple and fleeting joys of being frightened, or frightening- to the experience of morality..”. In the Video and script they did a superb job with bringing out the frightening part of Medusa. Which makes many wanting more stories about this myth. Our society loves the experience of being frightened, it is a addiction many have. For instance, Halloween is when the society says it is okay to dress up as a monster or some sort of character and scare others. Since Medusa is portrayed as a frightening monster overall, quite a few will dress up as her during these times.

Well in one of the  most recent occurrences of Medusa was in the show that started in 2017 by the network ABC “Inhumans”, took an interesting take on Medusa. In this series you would never guess what character Medusa is, by just looking at all the characters appearances. The actress in this show is a good looking middle aged women, with colored eyes, with long gorgeous red hair, and perfect blemish and wrinkle free skin. Looked nothing like the traditional Medusa in her monster state. This Medusa did not create as much fear or anxiety for others. Although she did have some similar features that reflect the traditional Medusa. For example, the long, silky, red hair did have powers. The power of strength and is able to move in snake like movements. With this power it is still considered a fantasy. The desire was still present, but in a different way. Many did not want to kill her at her monster state; many just wanted to be with her.

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This show gives a good example of how desirable Medusa is, but a horrible example of how she traditionally looked in her monster state. The character in this series  would better describe Medusa if her qualities were more recognizable to the original Medusa. Well this just proves that overtime the monster can still have the same concepts, but look slightly different as our culture changes. In thesis 1 it also states “ The monster is born only at the metaphoric crossroads, as an embodiment of a certain culture movement-of time, a feeling, and place” (Jeffrey J. Cohen). As this myth gets passed down or used in movies, stories, and books the imagine of Medusa will alter to fit at that given moment. This shows named “Inhuman” was broadcast the past year and does connect to relevant issues. The main one being even though we can look similar if someone has different traits they are viewed unnormal and can be isolated from the rest.  So Medusa appearance was normalized to fit in more, but still possess those traits that made her a monster. It overall was just a different take on Medusa.

In the original version of the myth of medusa, they did sexualized her. She was raped, due to her breathtaking beauty. “Medusa was a seductress” ( Silverman K. Doris). Since she was beautiful that was the main reason Poseidon raped her. His desire for her grew too strong, and his action was to take advantage of her. Well in the show “Inhumas” by abc they sexualized the character Medusa as well. They did this by having the actress playing Medusa wear a skin tight purple suit with a slit in the stomach area. The suit creates a desirable attraction for Medusa, similar to the original tale. The network abc did a good job on taking that aspect from the traditional myth and incorporating it in their version of Medusa.

Overall the show “Inhumans” did a decent a good job on showing how ravishing Medusa is. The network also incorporates sexualizing Medusa with the suit the actress wore. As well as kept the long powerful hair as her power. Similar to the original myth where Medusa had hissing snakes as hair. For the rest of the aspects they need a lot of work. The show did not monsterize Medusa enough. She was seen more as a pretty middle aged women with some powers, instead of the scary creature created by Athena. The show normalized Medusa too much to the extent where she is no longer creates anxiety, or frightens the viewers. Although, Medusa was still desirable and is still considered a fantasy.

 

   

 

Bibliography

Silverman, Doris K. “Medusa: Sexuality, Power, Mastery, and some Psychoanalytic Observations.” Studies in Gender & Sexuality, vol. 17, no. 2, Apr-Jun2016, pp. 114-125. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15240657.2016.1172926

I am able to rely on this source due to being an academic journal. It included a bunch of information on how Medusa image was before she was turned to a monster. As well as having the story line of Medusa. Information about Athena was given as well, which was helpful in understanding Medusa’s story.

Silverman, Doris K. “Medusa: Sexuality, Power, Mastery, and some Psychoanalytic Observations.” Studies in Gender & Sexuality, vol. 17, no. 2, Apr-Jun2016, pp. 114-125. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15240657.2016.1172926

I am able to rely on this source due to being an academic journal. It included a bunch of information on how Medusa image was before she was turned to a monster. As well as having the story line of Medusa. Information about Athena was given as well, which was helpful in understanding Medusa’s story.

https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/hercules/videos/the-story-of-medusa

This was a primary text I incorporated. It told the myth of Medusa well. Gave many visuals, so I could compare to the show “Inhumans”. Explained many details about Medusa so I could have a better understanding of the myth. It is also a reliable source, due to being on History.Com, which is a education cite.

 

Lashof, Carl.Medusa’s Tale.Youth Plays,October 3, 2017.Web. April 12, 2018.

This was used as one of my primary texts. It is a play, but written out. So this will help me understand Medusa’s story better.