Perseus and Andromeda - Greek Mythology
Welcome to Study Guides!

Perseus and Andromeda

Medusa's sisters
Medusa's sisters, Athenian
Protogeometric vase ca. 675-650 BC

So Perseus took the winged sandals and the sword and the shield and he said thank you and he flew to where Medusa's cave was. She lived there with her two sisters who were ugly too like her. When Perseus got there all three sisters were asleep. Perseus remembered not to look at them and he looked in the shiny shield and cut off their heads - all three of them! Then Perseus took Medusa's head and put it in a bag and flew away.

(In some versions of the story, the winged horse Pegasus flew out of Medusa's neck when Perseus cut off her head.)

Here's a claymation video of Perseus and Medusa

As Perseus was flying home he heard somebody screaming and crying so he flew down lower to see. It was a woman who was tied to a big rock on the edge of the ocean! Perseus saw that she was screaming because a huge sea monster snaky thing was about to eat her up. So he flew down to the rock and just as the monster was about to get them he pulled Medusa's head out of the bag and showed it to the monster and the monster turned into stone, just like that!

Perseus and Andromeda, from southern Italy
Red figure vase, about 350 BC,
now in Getty Museum
Perseus holding medusa's head up
Perseus holds up Medusa's head
(Stabiae, ca. 50 AD) Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Luiclemens

So Perseus untied the woman. She said her name was Andromeda, and her father, who was king there, had tied her up there so the monster would take her and leave the rest of the family alone. So Perseus took Andromeda with him back to his home.

When Perseus finally did get home, he found that the bad king was still trying to get Danae to marry him. Perseus was angry about that, so he went right into the palace. The bad king asked Perseus why he had come back? And Perseus said because he had killed Medusa. The king laughed and said he didn't believe it, so Perseus showed him Medusa's head - and the king turned to stone too! So Perseus became the king, and he married Andromeda, and they all lived happily ever after.

Learn by doing: compare the Gorgons to Humbaba, or Kali
Another snake story: Hercules and the Hydra

Bibliography and further reading about Perseus:

Snake Hair: The Story of Medusa (All Aboard Books Reading Level 2)
by Stephanie Spinner and Susan Swan. A beginning reader book, just a few sentences on each page, and big pictures done with paper collage. My daughter and I loved this one.

Perseus, by Warwick Hutton (1993). A picture book for kids.

Say Cheese, Medusa! Myth-O-Mania, by Kate McMullan (2002). A "cool" retelling of the story, with a lot of puns. More sympathetic to Medusa than to Perseus.

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, by Edgar and Ingri D'Aulaire.

Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon, by Stephen R. Wilk (1999). For adults. Traces the story of Medusa using the ancient sources (writing and art) and then through the centuries to modern times.

More about Athena
Ancient Greece home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Study Guides
  • Publisher:
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more? is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Study Guides, . Web. 27 April, 2017