Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

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Oxford University Press, Nov 15, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
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Medusa, the Gorgon, who turns those who gaze upon her to stone, is one of the most popular and enduring figures of Greek mythology. Long after many other figures from Greek myth have been forgotten, she continues to live in popular culture. In this fascinating study of the legend of Medusa, Stephen R. Wilk begins by refamiliarizing readers with the story through ancient authors and classical artwork, then looks at the interpretations that have been given of the meaning of the myth through the years. A new and original interpretation of the myth is offered, based upon astronomical phenomena. The use of the gorgoneion, the Face of the Gorgon, on shields and on roofing tiles is examined in light of parallels from around the world, and a unique interpretation of the reality behind the gorgoneion is suggested. Finally, the history of the Gorgon since tlassical times is explored, culminating in the modern use of Medusa as a symbol of Female Rage and Female Creativity.
 

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Stephen R. Wilk set out with a daunting task, to solve the mystery of the gorgon: how it has been portrayed through the centuries and across cultures, to more importantly, where the myth originated ... Read full review

Contents

The Nature of Myth
The Myth of Perseus and Medusa
The Gorgon in
Parallels from Around the World
Explanations
THE SOLUTION
Mira and Algol
The Surrounding
Gorgons and Gargoyles
What the Gorgon Really
The Gorgon Today
Synthesis
Appendix
Notes
References
Index

The Face on the Shield

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