A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton: Medusa & the Gorgons

As part of our month-long feature on Darkness Becomes Her and the sequel A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton today, we focus on some creatures from Greek mythology that play a key role in this series: Medusa and the Gorgons.

In classic Greek mythology, Medusa is one of three Gorgon sisters — horrifying female creatures most frequently described as having hair made out of snakes, and whose gaze turns anyone to stone instantly. In traditional Greek mythology, Medusa is the only one of the three who is not immortal, and she is slain by Perseus.

There is, however, one version of Medusa’s origin story by Ovid which is featured in Darkness Becomes Her. In this version of the story, Medusa is a beautiful woman with many suitors. One day, Medusa is caught with Poseidon — and in a fit of jealousy, Athena turns Medusa’s hair to snakes and makes her face so hideous it will turn men to stone. (According to Keaton’s version, Medusa was actually raped by Poseidon … Ovid’s telling makes it sound as if Medusa deserved her punishment.)

Medusa & the Gorgons have been depicted repeatedly in the media, most notable in films like Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

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