The Myth of Perseus and Medusa Tessellation Picture

The myth of Perseus and Medusa is a story told time and time again however only Perseus’s side is told. Medusa is always painted as a monster. She is a being to be feared and a horror that afflicted the ancient world. God of War, Percy Jackson, and even pre-New Wonder Woman (whom I love!) have portrayed her in this manner. But how true is that? Although there is a reality hidden in the myth, the myth itself shows Medusa not as a monster, but as a wrongly accused and abused victim who had everything she knew and loved taken from her due to an event she could not foresee or control: her rape by the god Poseidon. This

This simple tessellation follows the chapter of Medusa’s death from both the view of Perseus and Medusa. The piece is composed of two different Greek pottery types. Perseus is done in the Black-Figure style while Medusa is done in the Red-Figure style. Every two panels go together showing the same moment in time for each individual.


Athena sends the young hero, Perseus to the layer of the Gorgon sisters. She instructs him which of the three women is Medusa, as the other two cannot be killed. He turns around only using his shield as his eyes. Medusa alone on her bed catches site of him. She’s quick to confront him. Perseus readies himself for the fight of his life but finds her words sweet and charming. Medusa is ready to accept her fate but before she does, Medusa demands Perseus hear her side of the story. Medusa recounts the story of her life including the rape. Perseus is moved by her words and begins to doubt the need for Medusa’s death. Noticing Perseus’s hesitation, Medusa throws herself upon her knees and begs him to kill her so that no other man would die by her sisters’ protective hands. She begs him to kill her and release her sisters from their burden of protection. With her please, Perseus gathers the strength he needs and promises Medusa that her nightmare will be over and to use her powers for good. Medusa thanks him just before he cuts off her head. He scoops her head into his pocket and flees just as Medusa’s sisters awaken. They quickly take notice of their sister and flock to her body. Stheno (left) throws up her hands in grief as Euryale (right) kneels down and cradles her Medusa’s body letting out a loud, horrific scream that echoes across the earth and shakes the very foundation of the heavens.

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