Some of the best stories that have been told come from Greek mythology. Stories of Zeus, Athena, Poseidon and Apollo ring loud in our elementary school books and libraries. The fun part about hearing these stories is that these characters are basically superheroes before superheroes were even talked about.
These mighty gods had powers that we could only wish for and this made for pretty badass stories that we still talk about today.
Not every character in Greek mythology was a god. However, some were men and others were demigods. A demigod is half human and half god and one of these demigods happens to be the subject of our tattoo post today. He was one of the best warriors in Greek mythology and the legendary slayer of monsters. Perseus was his name and though not a full god, he is still one of the most popular subjects of Greek mythology ever. The Perseus tattoo is one that tells a story in addition to representing traits and characteristics that any person would love to have. Not only that but the symbolism behind the Perseus tattoo has led to many more people getting his image tattooed on their body.
In this post, we are going to talk about Perseus and the Perseus tattoo. We will talk about the history of this legendary demigod and discuss why he was such a popular subject to be tattooed. By the end of this post, we hope you have a better understanding of who Perseus was and what his place was in Greek mythology.
Perseus was the spawn of Danaë and Zeus. Being that Zeus was a god and Danaë was human, this made Perseus and demigod. The of Perseus is one of bravery. It all started when Danaë’s father and the King of Argos, Acrisius, was extremely disappointed that he couldn’t have a son. So much so that he went to speak to the oracle at Delphi.
The oracle warned Acrisius that he would one day be killed by the son of Danaë. Because of this, Acrisius imprisoned his daughter in a chamber made of bronze that was open to the sky. This is relevant because Zeus came in through the opening as a shower of gold and impregnated Danaë. Perseus was then born, and the journey began.
Afraid for his life, Acrisius locked Perseus and Danaë in a wooden chest and sent them out to see. This was his decision instead of killing the son of Zeus. Danaë and Perseus ended up landing on the island of Serifos and they were taken in by Dictys who raised Perseus into manhood.
Polydectes was the brother of Dictys and king of the island. Polydectes was in love with Danaë but Perseus was not a fan and protected his mother from the advances of Polydectes. Polydectes then created a plan to get rid of the island and himself Perseus by having a banquet and asking all guests to bring a horse as a gift to Hippodamia.
However, Perseus had no horse to give any Polydectes that would send him away. However, Perseus said he would give Polydetes any gift he wanted. Polydectes asked Perseus to get him something he thought impossible. The head of Medusa. However, Perseus would take this challenge.
In order to defeat Medusa, Athena instructed Perseus that he must locate the Hesperides who held weapons that were capable of killing Medusa. In his quest to find the Hesperides, Perseus visited the Graeae who were the sisters of Medusa and the Gorgons. The Graeae were three old women who shared one eyeball, so they would pass this back and forth. They knew the location of the Hesperides but weren’t willing to tell. Perseus snatched the eyeball from the old ladies and told them they needed to lead him to the Hesperides. They did, and he returned the eye.
The Hesperides gave Perseus a bag that would hold Medusa’s head. Perseus received the helm of darkness from Hades, so he could hide, an adamantine sword from Zeus, winged sandals from Hermes and a polished shield from Athena. With weapons in hand, Perseus went to find Medusa. To avoid being turned to stone, Perseus used his shield to see her reflection and sneak up while she was sleeping to take her head.
This is Perseus’ so-called claim to fame. It’s what he’s most well known for and why many get the Perseus tattoo with him holding the head of Medusa.
Perseus Tattoo Meaning
The meaning of the Perseus tattoo depends on who has the tattoo and what part of Perseus’ story they wanted to focus on. The Perseus tattoo can represent a connection with the mother. In fact, the reason he ended up having to kill Medusa is brought up from him protecting his mother. If this was never a factor, Perseus would have never made the journey to kill the snake-haired monster.
He also saved Andromeda from the monster called Cetus. Andromeda was tied to a rock as a sacrifice to Cetus so it would stop attacking the kingdom of Aethiopia. Perseus was able to save her from the rock and he slayed the monster. This is another characteristic of protecting women.
However, Perseus was also known to use the head of Medusa to turn his enemies to stone. Some of this came from a place of vengeance so the symbol of Perseus holding Medusa’s head is a symbol of revenge or wrath.
Perseus has a great story with many plots and themes. This is what makes him such a great subject to be tattooed. We suggest making sure the artist you consider has experience in tattooing these sorts of Greek god tattoos. Many times, the Perseus will be inked in a sort of realistic fashion and this is a skill you must look for before you sit in the tattoo chair.
If you have done your research and are still having trouble finding an artist, the team at Tattoo SEO would love to make a recommendation for you. We have many relationships and loads of experience in matching customers to artists so give us a shot!