Rus Articles Journal

Perseus and Andromeda. Myth or present?

Began everything in the ancient city of Argos which ruins still exist in Greece near modern Argos.

There was in this city a tsar. Though he was also a tsar, but wanted to know the future as the mere mortal.

It went to the oracle, to the predictor once. Also heard that the death to it will be brought by the grandson, the son of his daughter Danai. The father wanted to live, but he loved the daughter. I Danat it did not kill, and put in a tower and put to it the servant.

Also did not dream it that almighty Zeus will fall in love with his daughter and will fall to her in the form of a golden shower.

In Titian`s picture - Danaya on whom gold coins fall. So on it Zeus condescended. Nearby - the servant. The servant did not become puzzled, substituted a hem that nothing was gone. Probably because did not reach it: Zeus falls from above, he should not be caught thus.

From a golden shower Perseus was born. When the tsar heard shout of the child, he began to try to find out from where it undertook. Naturally, he did not believe that it is Zeus`s child, and just in case ordered to put mother and the child in a box, and to throw a box into the sea. - to execute the servant. (Analogy of “Tale of tsar Saltan“ of A.S. Pushkin.)

Threw out a box on the island Serifos. Perseus grew in a family, one of men of which fell in love with Danayu. And that Perseyne disturbed, he was sent behind the head of the Jellyfish of Gorgona - a monster which look turned the person to stone. As if on certain death.

But gods and nymphs equipped Perseus with magic things: cap of darkness, winged sandals, helmet. Till a way (thanks to the hint of goddesses) it seized a magic bag and a mirror board. By means of these features Perseus could behead Gorgona. It took the head with itself(himself) in a backpack and went home in the air way on a winged horse Pegasus who appeared from a body of the killed Jellyfish.

And at this time on the rock in the sea Andromeda suffered. Her boastful mummy Kassiopeya took in head to compete in beauty with sea goddesses - nereids. She declared that it is more beautiful than nereids. Those were offended and asked the father Poseidon to punish the arrogant woman. This father considered too that his daughter it is more beautiful than whom - that was. Therefore it sent to Ethiopia in which Cassiopeia, a monster reigned. And this monster had to destroy all inhabitants, all citizens of Cassiopeia. But here, as it often happens, the possibility of the transaction appeared: to give to a monster the daughter Kassiopei and to rescue the people from destruction. So Andromeda was chained to the rock that the monster took away it in possession.

And Perseus flew by just over this rock. Got accustomed - and fell in love. At once and forever. Also it was ready to release it immediately. If Andromeda agrees to become his wife.

Andromeda, probably, was glad to such outcome. Asked only her father whether he agrees to such transaction. The father agreed, Perseus killed a monster, released Andromeda and married her. Andromeda gave birth to it to one daughter and six sons. So Perseus and Andromeda`s history in the myth ended.

And so Perseus and Andromeda`s history in painting began. In Rubens`s picture “Perseus releases Andromeda“ Andromeda already without fetters, near Perseus - his winged horse, and at Perseus`s legs - the prostrate monster guarding Andromeda. Over Perseus`s head - the goddess who puts on him a wreath of the winner. Andromeda bashfully covers the delights, and Perseus gesture as if speaks to her that it is already time to open, you me the bride.

This picture was painted in 1620. But the same year Rubens wrote one more option. Awful Gorgona Meduza who was on Perseus`s board in the first option is not on this cloth. There is also no goddess who crowns the winner with monasteries. And the sea monster disappeared. Perseus in a magnificent helmet removes shackles from Andromeda`s hands. Probably, the artist decided to make a picture slightly more lyrically.

There passed 20 years. And again Perseus releases Andromeda. It is hard to say what induced the artist to make one more option of a picture. On this cloth there is no winged horse, there is no monster, it is few rock to which Andromeda is chained. Perseus has no its magic attributes: board, helmet … As a result it turned out so that the attention of the viewer does not dissipate any more on details which were important for the artist in the first options.

And what with a prophecy about death of the father Danai by hand the grandson? It came true: at one of competitions Perseus unsuccessfully threw a disk and got into the head of the grandfather who was among the audience.

In this rather logical history there is one discording moment: Perseus declares that he will rescue Andromeda only if she becomes his wife. Perhaps, in those days such courtship was a moral standard.

Today it is perceived as rough blackmail and harassment: “If you not with me - so remain with a monster!“ Somehow ignobly it sounds, not too adequately the son Zeus. Though it is possible to find not one example of this kind in the Greek mythology (if it is not worse).

Thanks to this ancient legend there are clear some superstitions and customs.

Remember caution “Do not brag, you will do much harm to yourself!“? It directly follows from the fact that boastful Cassiopeia the haughtiness drew upon itself Poseidon`s anger (and if not Perseus - Andromeda still would stand at the rock in the high sea).

And malefice, or evil eye? Gorgona Meduza could not destroy Perseus only because her look was reflected in its board and had no deadly force. Echoes of this belief - any brooches and amulets which carry on a breast. If to follow a legend, then it is necessary to carry something bright and brilliant from which the look of the wicked man loses force.

Here to you and myth. “The fairy tale - lie and in it a hint“ …