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Greek Mythology’s dangerous women(1)

strong women with their weird animal bodies, from the snake tail to the awkward little lion body of the Sphinx ...
creepy-crawly, fanged, winged and otherwise-terrifying creatures

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Greek Mythology’s dangerous women(1)

  1. 1. women who waited by the side of the road to catch travelers and eat them, women who could kill a guy with a single, icy look … ruthless, cunning, scandalous man-eating women, temptresses with their sexual charms strong women with their weird animal bodies, from the snake tail to the awkward little lion body of the Sphinx ... creepy-crawly, fanged, winged and otherwise-terrifying creatures
  2. 2. While the Greeks merely invented these stories to cope with strong, unfriendly ladies, nowadays, these women are better known than some of the heroes who killed or outsmarted them. These are the dangerous women of Greek Mythology …
  3. 3. Greek Mythology’s dangerous women
  4. 4. Siren, the Sirens, these ladies from Greek mythology are fabulously beautiful even if they are half bird. Their favorite pastime is hanging out on jagged rocks in the ocean and luring sailors to their deaths with their amazingly beautiful songs. Odysseus becomes the first mortal to live to tell the tale, because he has his men tie him to the mast while they plug their ears and sail on by.
  5. 5. an unusual approach ... an approaching vessel (could be Odysseus) and two sirens very human down to the waist, below which they resemble birds, one very attractive, the other, obese, almost comical and at their feet three human skulls and others bones to indicate their graver intentions Arnold Böcklin Sirens Sirènes 1875 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  6. 6. Odysseus sailing past, three sirens half-woman, half-fish ... and zero bird Gustave Moreau The Sirens Les Sirènes 1885 Musée National Gustave-Moreau, Paris
  7. 7. seven Sirens, very appropriately shown as a large eagle-like bird of prey with the head and neck of a beautiful young woman … John William Waterhouse Ulysses and the Sirens Ulysse et les Sirènes 1891 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  8. 8. mermaids and his sexualization ... Ulysses tied to the mast and beautiful Sirens who invade the ship ... are nude and their tails disappear as they board the ship Herbert James Draper Ulysses and the Sirens Ulysse et les sirènes 1909 Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  9. 9. The Sphinx, a treacherous and merciless monster with the head of a woman, the haunches of a lion, wings of an eagle, and a tail with a serpent’s head. She was a symbol of destruction and guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, confronting passers-by with riddles they couldn’t solve. Every traveler who failed her test would be eaten. Oedipus, the future king of Thebes, was the first traveler to answer one of the Sphinx’s riddles correctly. Furious about her defeat, the Sphinx committed suicide by jumping off the cliff ...
  10. 10. Oedipus staring at the fearsome sphinx … a monster defeated by human intelligence Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Oedipus and the Sphinx Œdipe explique l'énigme du sphinx 1808 Musée du Louvre, Paris
  11. 11. The Sphinx as a femme fatale ... unlike Ingres' version, Moreau's Sphinx is on the offensive, throwing himself at Oedipus, whose victory in the encounter does not yet seem assured Gustave Moreau Oedipus and the Sphinx Œdipe et le Sphinx 1864 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  12. 12. the lethal embrace of the femme fatale ... Franz Stuck The Kiss of the Sphinx Le Baiser du Sphinx 1895 Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest
  13. 13. temptation, seduction, as well as submission … that of man to woman confrontation of the androgynous being with the female sphinx in an imaginary setting, filled with blue columns and cabbalist inscriptions is it a symbolization of power, domination, and seduction ? or, perhaps, it is the eternal vision of Oedipus and the Sphinx? the mystery will remain ... Fernand Khnopff The Sphinx, or, The Caresses Le Sphinx, ou Des Caresses 1896 Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels
  14. 14. Scylla, a big sea monster. She has the body of a woman from the waist up, but from the waist down there's a whole lot of crazy: Sometimes she has a long fishy tail and six hungry heads set on long snake-like necks (perfect for snapping up passing sailors). Other times she's shown with a pack of hungry, drooling dogs sprouting from her waist (also great for sailor-munching). In mythology, it's said that she was once a beautiful sea nymph and was turned into the hideous man-eating monster by the sea witch, Circe. She's famous for munching on some of Odysseus' crew when the hero cruised through the narrow strait where she makes her home. The giant whirlpool Charybdis is on the other side.
  15. 15. a beautiful young nymph named Scylla, god of the sea Glaucos and a rock Bartholomeus Spranger Glaucus and Scylla Glaucus et Scylla 1580-1582 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  16. 16. an vengeful deed … Circe she casts her potion from a flaming silver salver in the water, Scylla has already been transformed into a gorgonesque figure, with snakes for hair, and the grotesque Glaucus watches from behind Eglon van der Neer Circe Punishes Glaucus by Turning Scylla into a Monster Circé punit Glaucus en transformant Scylla en monstre 1695 Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  17. 17. Charybdis, a whirlpool that swallows the sea and vomits it back up again. Charybdis was once a nymph, the daughter of Poseidon and Gaia. And she flooded lands for her father's underwater kingdom until Zeus turned her into a monster. She lived in a cave on the Sicilian side of the Strait of Messina, opposite the monster Scylla, the two of them forming a dangerous threat to passing ships. (... Scylla: “ah yes, my friend Charybdis, the whirlpool demon who lives across the strait from me. I really just don't have anybody else to talk to.")
  18. 18. Odysseus on the foc'sle of his ship, holding his shield up in defense as the oarsmen down below him struggle to propel the craft through the Straits of Messina … Henry Fuseli Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis Ulysse entre Scylla et Charybde 1794-96 Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau
  19. 19. Scylla, a man-eating monster or Charybdis, a personified and deified whirlpool ... Odysseus was able to successfully keep his ship intact as he sailed precariously between the two threats. Yet, like Alessandro Allori illustrated in his painting, the crew did not pass by Scylla unscathed … Alessandro Allori Scylla and Charybdis Charybde et Scylla c 1575 Florence, Banca toscana
  20. 20. Circe, a lady with a wand surrounded by animals ... an intoxicatingly beautiful woman, an immortal sea witch, an evil, or just cruelly quirky sorceress Circe is most famous for her appearance in Homer's Odyssey where she transforms Odysseus' men into swine. In the end, though, Odysseus gets friendly with Circe, and the sea witch transforms his men back, gives them directions to the Underworld, and sends them on their way. (Hey, maybe she's not so bad after all …)
  21. 21. a marvelous insight into the character of Circe, as she pours her brilliant emerald green potion into the water, ready for Scylla to come and bathe ... John William Waterhouse Circe Invidiosa, Jealous Circe Circe Invidiosa, Circé jalouse 1892 Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
  22. 22. arguably the greatest Circe portrayal ... a beautiful and cunning woman, which coherently fits with her representation in the Odyssey she is ready to serve the enchanted wine to Odysseus without knowing that he just got help from Hermes along the way John William Waterhouse Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses Circé offrant la coupe à Ulysse 1891 Gallery Oldham, Oldham
  23. 23. Harpies, awful creatures, with the heads of women and bodies of birds, have a nasty habit of swooping down from the sky, snatching whatever food they see … these ugly bird-ladies are sometimes called "the hounds of Zeus," because the king of the gods often sent them to punish mortals
  24. 24. that's kind of what Harpies do ... when were trying to eat on the Strophades, these ugly bird ladies punished Aeneas and his buddies by snatching away the beef and pooping on the scraps the Harpies also cursed their unwelcome guests, saying that Aeneas and his men will not return home until they become hungry enough to eat their tables François Perrier Aeneas and his Companions Fighting the Harpies Enee et ses compagnons combattant les Harpies 1646-1647 Musée du Louvre, Paris
  25. 25. fast as the wind, having wings either on their feet or backs ... the sons of Boreas died chasing the harpies, as it was fated that they would perish if they failed to catch those they pursued In some versions, the harpies drop into the sea from exhaustion and so their pursuers fall as well Erasmus Quellinus II The Persecution of the Harpies La persécution des harpies 1630 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  26. 26. The Erinnyes, the Furies, furious, snaky-haired, bloody-eyed ladies flap their wings and rise up from the black pit of Tartarus to put the smack down. Their purpose was to torment sinners, the sight of one could cause insanity, and they often drove offenders to suicide. Originally they punished only offenders of patricide, matricide, or breakers of oaths, but after a while they punished any sins. They lived in Erebus (Darkness) but traveled the Earth constantly in search of transgressors.
  27. 27. ... three Gorgonic Furies are wailing and screaming at Orestes, and carry the murdered corpse of Clytemnestra, with Orestes’ dagger still buried deep into her chest William-Adolphe Bouguereau Orestes Pursued by the Furies (The Remorse of Orestes) Les Remords d’Oreste ou Oreste poursuivi par les Furies 1862 Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk
  28. 28. an ornate temple ... Orestes clutching his bloody sword from the murder of Clytemnestra, and three figures: not the fearsome Furies, but the dead themselves, haunting him ... although there are snakes uncoiling themselves from the feet Gustave Moreau Orestes and the Erinyes Oreste et les Erinyes 1891 Private collection
  29. 29. Böcklin did not balk at horrific subjects. Reports of a murder committed in Alsace prompted him to paint this picture … Arnold Böcklin Murderer Pursued by the Furies Assassin poursuivi par les Furies 1870 Sammlung Schack, Munich
  30. 30. olga_oes Greek Mythology’s dangerous women (1) Les femmes dangereuses de la mythologie grecque (1) images and text credit www. Music ThePianoGuys Michael Meets Mozart created olga.e. thanks for watching

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  • tokerbella

    May. 20, 2021
  • johndemi

    May. 21, 2021

strong women with their weird animal bodies, from the snake tail to the awkward little lion body of the Sphinx ... creepy-crawly, fanged, winged and otherwise-terrifying creatures


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