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Beau Boulton

Perseus Retelling
Acrisius, the king of Argos, had a daughter, Dana, but no son to
take on his throne. He was growing old, and his wife had died years prior, so
he went to an oracle of Apollo to ask what he could do. The oracle told him
that his daughter would give birth to a son who will be famous in all of
Greece, but that this son would be the death of Acrisius. Fearing death above
everything else, Acrisius locked Dana away in a well-guarded, underground
room, so that she might never have a son. Zeus came to her in her cell, and
months later, Dana gave birth to a son, whom she named Perseus, and
began to raise him in secret. One day, however, a guard heard Perseus
laugh, and immediately reported it to the king. Acrisius came to see for
himself, and, outraged, demanded to know who the father was. Dana
admitted that it was Zeus. Knowing that if he killed a son of Zeus he would
be stricken down immediately, Acrisius sheathed his sword. He then put
Dana and Perseus in a chest and, making it look like an accident, threw it
into the ocean. However, Poseidon knew better than to kill them, and guided
them ashore. A fisherman named Dictys and his wife found them, and,
having always wanted a child, took them in as if they were their own
daughter and grandson. Word of Danas beauty soon spread throughout the
land. Dictys brother, Polydectes, who was the king of the island, decided to
pay her a visit. Polydectes insisted she come live with him in his palace, but
she rejected his advances, and he left, offended. Dictys told Dana that his
brother was mad, and that she should not have denied him for her own sake.
He said that Polydectes greatest goal was to slay Medusa and have her
head, and that he had sent several men to their deaths to try and claim his
trophy. Dictys said that if Polydectes was mad enough to do that, who knew
what he would do to get Dana. Dana, fearing for what might happen to
Perseus in all this, went to Polydectes palace and pledged herself to him.
Polydectes proclaimed that there would be a royal wedding immediately.
Polydectes, taunting Perseus, asked what he would give for a wedding gift.
Perseus said that he would get the head of Medusa, and that he would use it
to turn Polydectes to stone. When he set off, he came upon the goddess
Athena on the beach. She gave Perseus a shield that shined like a mirror, so
he could see Medusa without being turned to stone. She then told Perseus
that Hermes, the messenger god, would give Perseus a few boons to help
him, and guide him on his journey. Hermes then presented Perseus with
winged sandals, like his own, so Perseus could fly, as well as a cap of
invisibility to hide him, a sword that was sharp enough to pierce the skin of a
Gorgon, and a magic pouch that would never fill for him to keep Medusas
head in. Hermes then guided Perseus to the titan Atlas, who knew the
location of the Gray Women. The Gray Women were the only ones who knew
where to find Medusa. Atlas agreed to tell them where the Gray Women were
on the condition that should Perseus succeed, that he use the head of
Medusa to turn Atlas to stone so he might rest from lifting the sky. Perseus

agreed, and Atlas gave him the directions to the Gray Women. Hermes then
guided Perseus there and told him that the three sisters shared one eye, and
that taking it was the key to getting the information out of them. So, using
his cap of invisibility, Perseus snuck up on the sisters, and stole their eye.
Afraid of losing their eye, the Gray Women, told Perseus where he could find
Medusa. Hermes then warned Perseus that there would be other Gorgons
and that they were immortal and he should not attempt to kill them. Hermes
then bid him farewell, and Perseus set off to Medusas lair. He crept up,
looking into his shield, and came across Medusa and her sisters sleeping.
Medusa awoke, and Perseus watched her reflection. When she was close
enough, he closed his eyes, turned around, and decapitated her. Perseus
dropped Medusas head into the magic bag, and as soon as he had, the bag
shrunk back down to size. Just then, the other Gorgons awoke, and Perseus
fled. He first returned to Atlas to fulfill his promise. Then, on his way back
home, he came across a princess, Andromeda, chained up and about to be
eaten by a giant sea serpent. He slew the serpent, freed Andromeda, and
offered to return her to her parents. Andromeda explained that it was her
parents that sacrificed her in the first place. Perseus then took Andromeda
with him, and went back to fulfill his promise to Polydectes. When he
returned, he found that Dictys, his wife, and Dana, had fled and found
sanctuary in a temple. Perseus went to Polydectes palace and turned him to
stone with Medusas head. Dictys and Dana were sent for, and Athena
reappeared before Perseus. Perseus gave the head to Athena, which Zeus
put on her shield. With Polydectes gone, Dictys became king of Polydectes
realm. Perseus and Andromeda then got married. Dana longed to return to
Argos, so she, Perseus, and Andromeda, all travelled there, and came upon
some sort of festival. They asked people about Acrisius, and learned that he
had long since gone mad and left, and that nobody knew where he was. As
the three were wandering through the festivities, Perseus decided to enter a
discus contest. When he threw his discus, the wind blew it astray, and it
struck and killed a man in the crowd. That man turned out to be the mad
king Acrisius, and the oracles prophecy was fulfilled.