Study Guide

Medusa Sightings

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Dec 20, 2019

The Libation Bearers

While Medusa isn't necessarily a character in Aeschylus' Libation Bearers, she gets a ton of shout outs. Characters refer to Clytemnestra as a Gorgon. Also, at lines 831-832, the Chorus tells Orestes that "[You must be brave], and in your heart / keep up the courage of Perseus." What these references are getting at is clear: Clytemnestra is one mean lady.

Dec 20, 2019

The Metamorphoses

Relive all of the gory details of Medusa's death as Perseus gives a blow-by-blow account in Ovid's Metamorphoses. We also watch as Perseus turns Atlas to stone using his trusty Gorgon head. And did you know that coral comes from Medusa? When Perseus wanted to take a break and get his party on, he placed Medusa's head in the sand and rested it on a bed of plants that he had picked. The plants sucked up Medusa's poison. When Perseus threw them into the sea later on, they became coral. Read all about it here.

Jan 1, 1970

"Medusa" by Louise Bogan

In this poem by famous American poet Louise Bogan, the speaker describes an encounter with Medusa. If reading this doesn't give you goosebumps, we don't know what will.

Jan 1, 1970

All the King's Men

In Robert Penn Warren's famous 1946 novel All the King's Men, we follow one of the most fascinating politicians you'll ever meet – Willie Stark. At one point Willie Stark describes his "secretary" and lover, Sadie Burke as a "plaster-of Paris mask of Medusa which some kid has been using as a target for a BB gun" (3.320). We soon learn that her face is pockmarked because she and her brother had small-pox as children. Her brother died, but Sadie lived; her scarred face documents forever her battle. Sadie later makes Willie Stark aware that she is only a Medusa on the surface. She can't turn men into stone, and her powers are purely political.

Jan 1, 1970

Marvel Comics

Medusa made her first appearance in the Marvel universe in the Fantastic Four comics. Her superhero outfit includes a pretty scandalous jumpsuit and knee-high boots.

Jan 1, 1970

The Lightning Thief

Medusa's alive and well in The Lightning Thief, only this time, she's disguised herself as Aunty Em – owner of a roadside curio-shop full of statues. Just like his namesake Perseus, Percy Jackson must battle Medusa and decapitate her once more. Apparently, Medusa is really hard to kill. She always finds a way to come back.


Jan 1, 1970

God of War

The Greek gods make it onto the PlayStation in the God of War video game trilogy. The mortal hero of the games, Kratos, dukes it out with Medusa.

Jan 1, 1970

Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans is a 1981 film about the adventures of Perseus. Check out a clip of the famous Medusa sequence here.

Jan 1, 1970

Clash of the Titans (Remake)

In this 2010 remake of the classic Clash of the Titans, Perseus once again battles it out with Medusa.  This time, though, there is some super sweet CGI involved.

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