Study Guide

Perseus and Medusa Danae

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Danae is Perseus' lovely mother. She is probably most famous for being impregnated by Zeus when he came to her in the form of a shower of gold. Very creative. (Zeus is famous for using odd disguises to seduce the ladies and keep his wife in the dark.) Nine months later, she gave birth to little Perseus.

In this story, though, Danae's beauty causes problems for her once by attracting yet another unwanted suitor, this time King Polydectes. After Polydectes sends Perseus off on what he thinks is Mission Impossible, Danae hides from the king because she absolutely does not want to marry him. In this way, Perseus' mom comes off as a virtuous but damsel-in-distress kind of lady. When Perseus returns home, he rescues his mom, using Medusa's head to turn Polydectes into a statue.

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