Study Guide

The Birth of Perseus Acrisius

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There's no getting around the fact that Acrisius is the bad guy in this story. When the Oracle tells him that Danae will give birth to a son who'll kill him, he locks her in a room and throws away the key. When she gives birth anyway, he locks his daughter and grandson in a chest and throws them in the ocean. Yeah, so this guy doesn't exactly have a lot of redeemable qualities.

Like a bunch of other dudes in Greek mythology (Oedipus!), Acrisius does everything he can to avoid his fate. The joke's on him, though. He does all these horrible, inhuman things to his own family, but in the end Perseus does kill him (accidentally with a discus). Unfortunately for Acrisius, the Fates never get it wrong.

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