Perseus Essay

512 WordsSep 15, 20123 Pages
Perseus satisfies the definition of a hero because he has an unusual birth, unusual power, seeks adventure and achieves semi-divine status. The first criteria of being considered a hero is having an unusual birth, and Perseus’ birth fulfills this requirement. King Acrisuis of Argos locks his daughter, Danaë, in a tower so no man can get to her after he hears that his daughter’s son will be his death. However, Zeus finds a way to get to the beautiful Danaë. He disguises himself as a shower of gold, and comes in through the roof, bringing Danaë a son, Perseus. This is a very strange birth, because Zeus finds it possible to impregnate Danaë while he is not a man, but rather a shower of gold. The second of the four hero criteria is seeking adventure and embarking on a quest upon reaching adulthood. Perseus’ quest is to seek the Gorgon Medusa and bring back her head, as is required by Polydectes. This is also an adventure, seeing as it is necessary for Perseus to travel from Seriphos, across the desert and back; by means of the winged sandals lent to Perseus by Hermes. Another quest that Perseus embarks on is saving Andromeda, on his way back from fetching Medusa’s head. Perseus also defeats the Gorgon’s sisters, the Gorgon Medusa and the sea monster, all of which fulfill the third hero criteria: demonstrating great powers against heroes, monsters and divine powers. To defeat the Gorgon’s sisters, Perseus snatches the one eye that they share between the three of them, and threatens to throw it away unless they help him. To defeat Medusa, he uses a shiny bronze shield given to him by Athene, and looks at her through that, as not to be turned into stone by looking directly at her. He also uses a piece of adamant given to him by Hermes to behead her in one single blow, and fulfill the request given to him by Polydectes. Finally, to defeat the sea

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