Study Guide

The Birth of Perseus Freedom and Confinement

Freedom and Confinement

When Acrisius receives the prophecy that his daughter, Danae, will give birth to a son who'll kill him, the first thing he does is lock Danae up in a bronze chamber. Yeah, so that seems like some serious confinement if you ask us. After she gives birth to Perseus, Acrisius locks her and his grandson in a wooden chest and throws them in the sea. If possible, this is an even worse imprisonment than before. Eventually, though, Danae is freed on the island of Serifos by Dictys the fisherman. At last, she's gained the freedom to raise her son in peace. (Well, for a little while at least.)

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. How is freedom defined in this story?
  2. Is Zeus's seduction of Danae as a shower of gold an act of liberation or a new kind of confinement? Explain your answer.
  3. How would the story be different if Acrisius had never imprisoned his daughter?
  4. In what ways is Acrisius imprisoned by fate?

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