`` Metamorphoses `` : A Story Of Heroism And Myth Essay

`` Metamorphoses `` : A Story Of Heroism And Myth Essay

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When one looks up into the vast night sky of the northern hemisphere, it is likely they will see the constellations of Perseus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia. As like most other constellations, these figurations of stars tell a story of heroism and myth. In ancient society, the myth taught people to tame their egos, lest they be punished by the gods. The legend was Greek, however, a Roman poet named Publius Ovidius Naso (or Ovid) mentioned the tale in his poem, “Metamorphoses”. The history, the story, and the astronomy all make for an interesting tale.
In Ethiopia, way back when there lived a king and queen named Cepheus and Cassiopeia. They had a daughter named Andromeda, who was beautiful like her mother. Her mother, though, had a very enlarged ego, and at a gathering of friends she boasted that she and her daughter were even more beautiful than the Nereids, who were sea nymphs. Poseidon, naturally, became angered at this and sent many floods to ravage the coast and threatened to send a sea monster, by the name of Cetus, to attack Ethiopia. The king went to an oracle to seek advice, and learned that to save his country, he must sacrifice his daughter to the monster. The king took the advice of the oracle, and chained his daughter to a rock, and left her to die, with nothing but her jewels. Perseus, the great hero, was coming back from slaying the Gorgon Medusa. There are a couple different versions in which he has come flying back on either Pegasus, the winged horse, or a pair of winged sandals. He saw the girl chained to the rock and thought her to be a statue of marble, but for the breeze traveling through her hair, and the tears running down her cheeks in a steady stream as she awaited her death.
How Perseus defeated Cetus vari...


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..., besides the facts sailors had been using them for years in the matter of navigation. There were forty-eight original constellations, and the constellation of Andromeda is included. In 1764, the Andromeda Galaxy was discovered, showing that this myth left a footprint in the sands of time.
The tale, filled with Gorgons, sea creatures, vanity, and revenge, has unsurprisingly been a solid favorite throughout the years. The reason I chose this myth was because of Pegasus and the spite in the story. I have been fascinated with the myth for many years. It may be the winged horse, or the heroism of young Perseus that caused my interest, but it also impacted others. Stars and outer space have captivated many for centuries, possibly because of it being so unknown and holding so many secrets. In the end however, this tale will outlast time, may it be the story or the stars.

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