Mith and reality

Danae and Perseus (1892) by John William Waterhouse.

Perseus was one of the many sons of Zeus. According to the Greek mith, Acrisius (Danae’s father) king of Argos was said by the Oracle of Delphi that Danae’s son would have killed him. So, Acrisius decided to enclose his daughter in a bronze chamber of his palace in order to prevent Danae from any love affair. But, Danae was so beautiful that Zeus felt a great desire of her and  changed into a golden rain, impregnating her. Probably, Zeus was just attracted by the “forbidden”, as all human beings (as greek gods are personification of human passions) ! And, moreover, who might ever decide the destiny of a man and/or a woman if not Zeus himself? So, Danae became pregnant and her father discovered everything after she gave birth to her son, Perseus. Then something horrible happened: Acrisius enclosed his daughter and nephew in a wooden crate and abandoned them in the sea, to their destiny of death. The painting above depicts Danae and Perseus while they were going to be enclosed in the crate by two slaves. I’ve been touched by the scene of that mother, resigned to a such a cruel destiny, holding her baby in her arms…The scene is so sad but also so intense! I can even hear the sound of waves breaking on the rocks and smell the parfume of the sea…

According to the mith, Danae and Perseus were saved by a king and Perseus became one of the most important heroes of Ancient Greece. And he killed his grandfather, Acrisiuos, in a sort of methaphore in which the “new” kills the “old”, the Good defeats the Evil… In every mith there are important references to human qualities, defects and passions. And,  if we look through the simple story, we can see ourselves, even after so long time dividing us from the Ancient people who wrote miths themselves.

I think the most terrible thing that might happen to a person is the loss of a child. There isn’t any tie much stronger than the one between a mother and a child. I’m a mother and it is amazing the sensation you feel when you see your baby for the first time, a wet small tender being shouting,  frightned. And I will never forget the instant in which, soon after delivered, I moved my nose to my baby’s one and he suddenly stopped crying. Life is beautiful, a wonderful gift and I thank God everyday for having given to me two wonderful children.



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