Thursday, January 28, 2016


"The Rapes of Medusa" by Troy's Work Table Publishing. Nighttime carport chalking for Thursday 28 January 2016.

Sidewalk chalk, charcoal, chalk pastels, glitter sidewalk chalk.


Triptych, from left to right: "Poseidon," "Perseus," and "Athena (Gorgoneion)."


Medusa is treated poorly by the gods and their kin. Her story spans centuries, so there are versions and variations. In some stories she is vain; in others she is mere victim. In some stories she is willing sexual partner; in others she is raped. In all, she is transformed from beautiful woman to horrid monster, later attacked and decapitated by Perseus, and then her head taken as trophy to adorn the aegis of either Athena or Zeus.



The first rape is an assault upon her person and her sexuality. Poseidon desires her and rapes her in the Temple of Athena. Does Athena punish Poseidon for his crime? No, but she does punish Medusa for defiling her temple, whether willing participant or not. And, her two sisters may or may not be made monstrous along with her, dependent upon the storyteller.

At the heart of the story, though, are the Olympian gods enacting violence upon the offspring of an earlier set of deities that precede both Titans and Olympians.



The second rape is the physical attack of Perseus upon the person of Medusa. With help of the gods, all of whom are essentially his aunts and uncles (due to his father being Zeus), he decapitates Medusa and steals her head as her two sisters pursue him.


"Athena (Gorgoneion)."

The third rape is the use of Medusa's head as a trophy that adorns the aegis (shield? armor?) of Athena. So not only does Athena enact violence upon Medusa by making her monstrous, but she also guides Perseus and he pursues the Gorgon, and then Athena later gloats once Medusa's life is taken. The parading of Medusa's head is just as egregious as the rape and murder (and, for me, perhaps even more so).


View the individual triptych panels of "The Rapes of Medusa" HERE.

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