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What power did Medusa have?

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Quick Answer

In the Ancient Greek mythological tradition, Medusa was a gorgon with the power to instantly turn people to stone once they looked upon her directly. She was turned into a gorgon as a result of Athena's jealousy and her anger at Poseidon's seduction of the girl in Athena's temple.

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The exact details of Medusa's birth are inconsistent throughout Greek mythology, but most sources claim that Medusa was born an exceedingly pretty girl with beautiful flowing locks of hair. This made Athena jealous. When Poseidon seduced Medusa in the virgin goddess' temple, Athena became enraged and transformed her into a gorgon, causing Medusa's hair to become snakes. Later, the hero Perseus would be tasked with capturing Medusa's head, which he would accomplish with Athena's aid. Her head still turned living creatures that viewed it into stone. Athena flayed Medusa's skin, creating her aegis, an impenetrable armor. Pegasus and Chrysaor sprang out of Medusa's body when Perseus beheaded her.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who was Medusa?

    A:

    According to Greek mythology, Medusa was an immortal Gorgon monster; however, in later accounts she was described as a beautiful, young girl who was later turned into a monster by Athena who was jealous of her. Medusa is described as having snakes in place of hair and a demonic face.

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  • Q:

    What is the story of Medusa?

    A:

    According to the English Department of Vanderbilt, Medusa was a very beautiful, positive woman in Greek mythology who was raped and beheaded by several different Greek gods. When her head was removed, a Pegasus flew from her body, representing the birth of beauty.

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  • Q:

    Where did Medusa live?

    A:

    According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Medusa lived on the island of Sarpedon in the Western Ocean near the Hesperides. The historian Herodotus later placed them in Libya.

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  • Q:

    Who killed Medusa?

    A:

    In Greek mythology, Medusa, the serpent-haired gorgon, was killed by Perseus. Perseus was sent to kill her by the King Polydectes, who was attempting to get Perseus out of the way so he could marry Perseus's mother, Danae.

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