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Archetype: Perseus

Archetype: Perseus

Perseus-and-Andromeda-the-olympiansThe Personification of Courage

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” 

~Anais Nin Acrisius, king of Argos, was the father of Danaë, a beautiful girl, but was disappointed not to have a male child. When he consulted the oracle about the absence of a male heir, he received information that he  never would produce a son, but in the future he would have a grandson, whose destiny was to kill his grandfather.

Acrisius took extreme measures to try escape his fate and had Danaë isolated on top of a bronze tower. She remained in complete seclusion until one day Zeus came to visit her in the form of a shower of gold. Danaë gave birth to a male child: Perseus. Acrisius could not believe and still hoped to avoid his fate. He ordered a large chest to be made; he proceeded to placed Danaë and her son inside, locked it and cast them into the sea. Zeus asks Poseidon to calm the water, and Danaë and Perseus are able to survive.

Hurled by the waves, the ark ended up on the beach of Seriphus (Seriphos), one of the islands of the Cyclades. Danaë and Perseus were cared for by an honest fisherman, Dictys, brother of the king of Seriphus, Polydectes, who was an unscrupulous man. Over time, Polydectes fell in love with Danaë, but Dictys protected Danaë from attacks of the king while Perseus was growing up.

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