Medusa: The Face of Ambiguity and Resilience




Martinez, Natalie

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The purpose of this research is to rescue Medusa from the misconstrued image she was wrongfully given and understand how her story of having been raped was unable to surface within a misogynistic society. The goal is to show that the eyes that turned men into stone were not looking to abduct gazers, but seeking for the eyes that held understanding and compassion. Researchers have demonstrated how the lustful gaze of men demoralized the body of Medusa and scrutinized the meaning of a woman’s existence by relegating her body to visual objectivity and possession. Her image was created through the lustful eyes of men that created the view of women in a patriarchal society and therefore subjected her to a life of turmoil and punishment. By further evaluating the ideological functions of Medusa, comparing her to other monstrous female figures who were worshipped, and how she is portrayed in media and art, we will uncover who the gorgon was and how her identity has been masked by the scales of serpents.



Medusa, feminist icon, Greek mythology, misogyny, serpents, Athena, Poseidon, Persues, Versace, Honors College


Martinez, N. (2018). Medusa: The face of ambiguity and resilience (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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