As well has having snakes for hair, she was given a serpent-like body and rattlesnake-like tail. That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B.C. She's beautiful and she's laughing. In so doing, we unravel a familiar narrative thread: In Western culture, strong women have historically been imagined as threats requiring male conquest and control, and Medusa herself has long been the go-to figure for those seeking to demonize female authority. Are You Learning English? The model was one Harryhausen’s most complex and in 2020 it was voted third favourite among his many creations. Then Perseus gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.. Definition of medusa. Jack London uses Medusa in this way in his novel The Mutiny of the Elsinore:. In particular, the designer Versace's symbol is reflected through the Medusa-head symbol. Medusa (Grieks: Μέδουσα) was in die Griekse mitologie ’n Gorgo, ’n vroulike monster en een van drie susters. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar already speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa".. How to pronounce medusae (audio) Available from. Medusa has been depicted in several works of art, including: Medusa remained a common theme in art in the nineteenth century, when her myth was retold in Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology. She claims "we must kill the false woman who is preventing the live one from breathing. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. See Article History. Classic Medusa, in contrast, is an Oedipal/libidinous symptom. The Medusa story has also been interpreted in contemporary art as a classic case of rape-victim blaming, by the Goddess Athena.  In this interpretation of Medusa, attempts to avoid looking into her eyes represent avoiding the ostensibly depressing reality that the universe is meaningless. “Medusa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medusa. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. It was chosen because she represents beauty, art, and philosophy. Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended... the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood. When Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a giant wielding a golden sword, sprang from her body.. Furthermore, the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood. " In this perspective the "ravishingly beautiful" Medusa (see above) is the mother remembered in innocence; before the mythic truth of castration dawns on the subject. The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were all children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or "Phorkys") and his sister Ceto (or "Keto"), chthonic monsters from an archaic world. If a member of the audience describes your speech as. The cover featured the image of the Gorgon Medusa by Froggi Lupton, which the editors on the inside cover explained "can be a map to guide us through our terrors, through the depths of our anger into the sources of our power as women. , Classical Greek depiction of Medusa from the fourth century BC, The triple form is not primitive, it is merely an instance of a general tendency... which makes of each woman goddess a trinity, which has given us the. A free-swimming sexual form of a coelenterate such as a jellyfish, typically having an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge. He believes that one reason for her longevity may be her role as a protector, fearsome and enraged. The inclusion of Medusa in the center implies the protection of the goddess Athena, who wore the Gorgon's likeness on her aegis, as said above. Municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic, Ceremonial French military uniform belt of World War I, Medusa is honored in the following scientific names:, The petrifying image of Medusa makes an instantly recognizable feature in popular culture. Probably the feminine present participle of. Cixous calls writing "an act which will not only 'realize' the decensored relation of woman to her sexuality, to her womanly being, giving her access to her native strength; it will give her back her goods, her pleasures, her organs, her immense bodily territories which have been kept under seal." Accessed 18 Nov. 2020. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. In some species, medusae are a phase in the life cycle which alternates with a polypoid phase. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Johnston goes on to say that as Medusa has been repeatedly compared to Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, she proves her merit as an icon, finding relevance even in modern politics. . In some species, medusae are a phase in the life cycle which alternates with a polypoid phase. (Pythian Ode 12). Inscribe the breath of the whole woman. Volgens Hesiodus was Medusa die enigste van die Gorgone wat sterflik was. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!  Beyond that, Medusa's story is, Johnston argues, a rape narrative. Sy het slange in plaas van hare op haar kop gehad en enigiemand wat na haar gekyk het, het in klip verander. Last edited on 13 November 2020, at 19:40, Cultural depictions of Medusa and Gorgons, "Bulfinch Mythology – Age of Fable – Stories of Gods & Heroes", Frank Justus Miller translation, as revised by G. P. Goold, "The Rape of Medusa in the Temple of Athena: Aspects of Triangulation", "Endless the Medusa: a feminist reading of Medusan imagery and the myth of the hero in Eudora Welty's novels. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion. Through the lens of theology, film, art, and feminist literature, my students and I map how her meaning has shifted over time and across cultures. Since Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. One example is that of the flag and emblem of Sicily, together with the three legged trinacria. "And she's not deadly. In some species, medusae are a phase in the life cycle which alternates with a polypoid phase. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. 14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1. Not that we're looking to start something. Author Sibylle Baumbach described Medusa as a “multimodal image of intoxication, petrifaction, and luring attractiveness," citing her seductive contemporary representation, as well as her dimensionality, as the reason for her longevity.. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto.. What made you want to look up medusa? Stephen Wilk, author of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon, questioned Medusa's enduring status among the feminist movement. Does English Have More Words Than Any Other Language? With snakes for hair—hatred of mortal man—, While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as having monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. 1Zoology A free-swimming sexual form of a coelenterate such as a jellyfish, typically having an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge. Looking at forbidden mother (in her hair-covered genitals, so to speak) stiffens the subject in illicit desire and freezes him in terror of the Father's retribution. ‘Cnidarians have two basic body forms, medusa and polyp.’. Two versions of Medusa were created by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio – one in 1596 and the other in 1597 – depicting the exact moment she was executed by Perseus. 1 capitalized [Latin, from Greek Medousa] : a mortal Gorgon who is slain when decapitated by Perseus. Medusa is widely known as a monstrous creature with snakes in her hair whose gaze turns men to stone. Mid 18th century named by association with Medusa. Inspired by the #metoo movement, contemporary figurative artist Judy Takács returns Medusa's beauty along with a hashtag stigmata in her portrait, #Me(dusa)too. Brenneman portrayed half of Billy McBride’s (Billy Bob Thornton) mighty, Gold thought that genes unique to jellyfish would be active during the transformation from polyp to, To go from being a stationary polyp to a floating, In the 1990s Italian researchers discovered that Turritopsis dorhnii, a jellyfish the size of a pen tip, reverts back and forth from a, If so, scientists are hopeful that once conditions in the lake improve, a new generation will again produce the free swimming adult, Post the Definition of medusa to Facebook, Share the Definition of medusa on Twitter, On the Difference Between 'Incite' vs 'Insight'. Beth Seelig analyzes Medusa's punishment from the aspect of the crime of having been raped rather than having willingly consented in Athena's temple as an outcome of the goddess' unresolved conflicts with her own father, Zeus. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, which has been registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon.". In Freud's interpretation: "To decapitate = to castrate. Here Are Our Top English Tips, The Best Articles To Improve Your English Language Usage, The Most Common English Language Questions, one can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. In a late version of the Medusa myth, by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.794–803), Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden, but when Poseidon had sex with her in "Minerva's" (i.e. Learn a new word every day. The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage.  The name "Medusa" itself is often used in ways not directly connected to the mythological figure but to suggest the gorgon's abilities or to connote malevolence; despite her origins as a beauty, the name in common usage "came to mean monster.