2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

A Comparison of Medusa's Evolving Role in the Ancient World and the Percy Jackson Franchise

Holly S. Alwine
Dr. Amy Norgard, Faculty Mentor

Medusa’s role evolves throughout the Percy Jackson franchise: the young adult novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2005, Rick Riordan), the film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010, dir. Chris Columbus), and the recent television series Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023, Rick Riordan and Jonathan E. Steinberg). Among the first monsters Percy faces on his quest, Medusa serves as an obstacle for Percy to overcome, aligning with her portrayal in ancient sources, particularly Hesiod’s Theogony and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Medusa’s role in Percy Jackson evolves from a monster to a survivor, corresponding to her portrayal in Theogony and Metamorphoses. Though the show sanitizes her story for its intended audience, children and young adults, her role as a survivor still resonates. Her fate, however, remains the same: she must die. This makes her downfall all the more tragic, though her objectification makes it ring hollow.

Keywords: Medusa, Percy Jackson, Hesiod, Theogony, Ovid, Metamorphoses


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 204-4
Location: SUB Georgian Room C
Time: 11:00

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