Medusa. What do you think when you hear my name? A malevolent, malformed, miscreant creation? A dire, dreadful personification of disaster? Or maybe, better yet, a scrimping, scraping spawn of some unfortunate sire shaped somewhere in depths of the sea cursed with salient scarred misshapen unsightliness? Medusa. I make men shiver in revulsion at even the mere mention of my name.
'Sordid', 'Sorry', 'Sinister' – I've heard it all before. 'Wretched', 'Wicked', 'Worthless' –it's nothing new. Did you know I was beautiful once? That poets called me the 'fair-cheeked' Medusa? Oh yes, I was stunning, splendid, sought-after, the girl to court above all others, the jealous aspiration of many suitors. Men clamoured after me, eager for my attention, any attention that I would be as kind as to bestow on their sorry souls. Renowned for my loveliness I was, the most lovely of all women –even the goddesses. I had poets write about me Ovid, Aeschylus, Pindar and above all, the thing that was most attractive about me, apart from my unrivalled golden glorious tresses, was my virginity.
I was the girl that people fought over to possess. In the Greek honour system, the hero with the most ravishing woman was considered the best, the one with the most κλεος (clay-os), glory, set apart by the Gods, chosen to be honoured and admired till their name passed into immortality through poems and entertainers who would sing of their glorious deeds. And of me. The poets would sing all about me. About how radiant I was, how I rivalled any goddess in my comeliness. They would sing about my enrapturing, enticing, ensnaring beauty till I would be remembered as the most beautiful of all creation. Homer sings about Helen, paltry Helen of Troy. Once upon a time she had nothing on me. I was everything any girl could ever wish to be till one day…
I had been worshiping in Athene's temple extolling her goodness, her virtues, her well-founded sagacity when Poseidon, Earth-shaker, Lord of the Sea, Brother of the Ruler of the Gods entered and violated me in the house of the Most Glorious white-armed Athene. Of all the chauvinistic egotistical males to rob my prized virginity Fate decreed for me a horny old God. When he was done he left and I was stranded cold, sore and alone on the unforgiving floor broken beyond repair in my goddess' temple. Everything that I had been was now destroyed in one go, and as I rose, shamed, scarlet and disgraced from the floor I found the Goddess herself with her owl in attendance at her shoulder and Nike, the Goddess of victory by her side. And then, in one of the purest examples of cold-hearted injustice in the entirety of the sordid legacy of the immortals, Athene, in spite of all her wisdom, chose to curse me. For desecrating her temple. Stupid envious virgin.
And so, because of her jealousy, I changed from a source of delight to one of disapprobation. From the woman people travelled to see solely because her beauty was so intense, to the person, the being, the thing whispered about on street corners and back alleys.
'She's so ugly, she'll turn you into stone at the merest glance' they said. 'I know, did you hear she seduced Poseidon?' they asked. 'She deserved everything she received, nasty, evil, spiteful girl that she was.' They decided. 'I hear men are still running after her though!' they said. 'What?' they asked. 'It must be because she's the new weapon, one glance and all your enemies are dead!' they decided.
And with that my life became was rendered in antithesis. Girls, ugly girls, fat girls, passably pretty girls who failed to scintillate, entice or glisten took my place, and instead of being 'The Creation', I became 'The Creature'. Even Poseidon didn't find them nearly pretty enough to desecrate another temple, but oh! if I could but just hold his gaze now for one second… I would be well sated indeed.
And the girls? They rose up, thankful to be rid of me so that they could hope for a suitor now, and I, banished from the realms of my father and my mother and my home in Athens, was sent to the land of the Land of Hyperboreans.
I lived in squalor, cut-off from the centre of the world, accused and accursed because it was easier to accuse and accurse a mere mortal than a God. I was condemned, living out my mortal days alone.
But, men came. Men came from far and near, even from the very edges of the Earth in order to see me. Resplendently, resonantly romantic was it not? Ha! The viciously, vile, villainous heroes had come, not to woo me or to attempt to appease Athene on my behalf, but to decapitate me and use my head as a new-found, new-fangled weapon against the rest of the world. And so I was hunted again, hounded again, given no rest nor peace. Daily, then fortnightly, then monthly they would come, swords, axes, and for the cowardly, bows and arrows. I loved it; it was a new kind of hunt, a new kind of chase. Men were still running after me and this time I really could end their misery...
Retribution. Vindication. Desecration. They became my beautiful words. More important to me than looks, than lovers, than love. And stranded here on my island I was able to wreak more havoc, more control over men, and more destruction than ever before.
Till Perseus. And now I reside, decapitated in the underworld. My head severed from my body by a man too cowardly to face me when awake. Medusa, used to the last by men slake lust and vanquish enemies, born in glorious dignity and now rotting in rampant ignominy, despised by all as Medusa the woman who had snakes for hair.
AN: Please, if you have any comments, want to rewrite sentences, even a whole paragraph, message or review me. This is for my English Coursework and currently, I hate it. Thanks. Any questions, other Mythical characters you want a story about, again, feel free to contact me.