Greek Mythology: The Story Of Perseus

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Greek Mythology consists of many stories about gods, creatures, and heroes. These beings maintained a higher status than mortals and usually lived on what is known as Mount Olympus, "the palace of the gods".(UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology454-464) Many of their tales rose from actions of "pride, jealousy, love, and revenge".(UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology454-464) One of these tales being the story of Perseus, a Greek hero whose actions were driven by love. Although Perseus is best known for slaying one of Mythology's most powerful creatures, he is also known for nature's control of life and an act of heroism.

Perseus' story is impacted not only from his adventures and experiences, but also from his background life. King Acrisus of
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This happened when Zeus appeared to her one night as a shower of gold in her chamber. It is not said how she knew it was Zeus, but she did know it was his child.(Hamilton192) For a time, Danae kept the birth of her child a secret from her father. But after some time, Acrisus found out about little Perseus. He was again terrified, but couldn't murder Perseus for fear of the Gods, so instead he locked them up in a box and cast it out to sea. They were locked in that box together as mother and son until they met land.(Hamilton193) Upon coming ashore, a fisherman named Dictys found them. He broke open the box and set them free from their confinement. Dictys then took them to his home to be cared for by himself and his wife. There, Perseus and his mother lived for many years while he grew into a young man. But soon after, trouble ensued.(Hamilton194) As Perseus had gotten older, King Polydectes, King of Seriphos, had taken interest in Danae and wanted her as his wife. However, she refused and Perseus protected her from the king's efforts. Seeing Perseus in the way of…show more content…
When Cassiopeia, Andromeda's mother, boasted that she was more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the Nerieids, the God of the sea punished her. Poseidon's punishment was flooding their kingdom and sending a sea monster along with the flood. Andromeda's parents needed to bring an end to this punishment for the sake of their kingdom. King Cepheus, Andromeda's father, was told by an oracle that the punishment would end if their daughter were sacrificed to the creature. Desperate to end the punishment, Cepheus tied Andromeda up to a rock as a sacrifice to the sea monster. But as Perseus was passing by on his journey home from slaying Medusa, he saw the young maiden crying for help and instantly fell for her. Perseus bravely went towards the creature and using Medusa's head as a weapon, turned the creature into stone. He then saved Andromeda from her confinement and took her to his home to become his wife.(Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature) Perseus' action represents an act of heroism. Saving Princess Andromeda from a deadly sea creature took a huge amount of courage and was a danger to his own life. Perseus wasn't required to save her and could have died in the process, but did it nonetheless, earning the title as a hero and having the action being recognized as an act of heroism. Perseus' experience brought forth many lessons as well nature's control of life and an act of
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