Perseus and Andromeda
In a Nutshell
Super-powered hero swoops down from the sky just in time to save the beautiful girl from [insert monster or super-villain name here].
Yeah, you've probably read or seen a story like this before. It's a huge plot element in just about every comic book and comic book movie that there's ever been. Superman has a habit of rescuing Lois Lane, Spiderman is always saving Mary Jane, and Ironman just has to protect Pepper Potts – the list goes on and on. Then there are about a bazillion action-adventure movies out there where the same scenario occurs. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and King Kong all come to mind. Man, this storyline seems as old as time.
Is it any surprise, then, that this classic type of story goes back to the time of ancient Greek myth? The tale of Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the sea monster is a story that will never get old. No wonder it directly inspired not one but two Hollywood spectaculars: the 1981 and 2010 versions of Clash of the Titans.
Explore the ways this myth connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
- Check out the Roman poet Ovid's take on the tale in The Metamorphoses.
- Click here to see what Shmoop has to say about Perseus' namesake Percy Jackson, who also defeats Medusa but is often saved by his un-damsel-in-distress friend Annabeth.
- Check out how Edith Wharton compares House of Mirth heroine Lily Bart to Andromeda.
- In Chapter 82 of Moby-Dick, Ishmael retells the story of Perseus and Andromeda, claiming that Perseus became one of the first whale-men when he slew the sea monster.