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Reading Tip Greek Myths | in ancient Greece, people told many stories of gods and goddesses, magic and monsters. These stories, like the myth of Medusa, are still popular today.

8 Schoiastic Action | Octobe

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a young warrior a deadly monster?^ Scene 1

Characters ^Narrator 1 the gaddess af wisdar Narrator 2 (N2|


Hermes (HER-meez), the messenger af the gads

King af Seriphas Gray Sister, an aid waman

Danae (duh-NIGH), mather ,af Perseus

^*Perseus (PER-see-us), a yaung hera

lymph 1, a spir

Nymph 2, a spirit

argan, a cruel manster,] ane af Medusa's sisters

Sign up far the character yau're gaing ta read. ^Starred charcters are majar rales. J|

N1: Our story takes place long ago in the land of ancient Greece. N2: A woman named Danae and her son, Perseus, live on the island of Seriphos. NI: The king has become very fond of Danae. But Danae doesn't like the king. King: Danae, I wish to marry you. Danae: No, thank you. King: I could have any woman I want, and I choose you. Danae: I do not wish to be married, my king. King: Do you know what happens to those who refuse the king? N2: He begins to take out his sword. NI: Perseus rushes in. Perseus: My mother has the right to say no to you. Come, Mother, let us go.

www.scholastic.eom/ai:tianmag | October 8, 2012 9

N2: Perseus and Danae leave together. King (to himself): I must find a way to get rid of that boy Perseus. He will always protect his mother. If he were gone, I could convince her to be my wife. Or force her. N1: The king thinks up an evil plan. King (to his advisers): Tell me, what is the most feared creature in the land? A1: There are many monsters. One of the worst is the deadly Gorgon Medusa. A2: She is an evil and ugly woman. Instead of hair, she has live snakes on her head. A1: Instead of hands, she has sharp, brass claws. Anyone who looks at her turns to stone. A2: She lives with her two Gorgon sisters. They are immorial, so they cannot be killed. But Medusa can be killed. King: Perfect. I will send Perseus on an impossible mission. He will never return alive! N2: The king announces that he plans to marry a different woman. A party is held for him. Kjng: Perseus, all the men in my kingdom brought me a gift, except you. Are you so poor and lazy that you have nothing to offer your king? Perseus (angrily): I may be poor, but I am not lazy. I will bring you any gift you want! 1 0 Schoiastic Action | October 8, 2012

King: Very well. Bring me the head of Medusa. NI: The crowd gasps. . Perseus: I'll do it.

Scene 2 N2: Almost no one knows where Medusa lives. Perseus travels over land and sea trying to find her. NI: Perseus is strong and brave, but he doesn't know how he'll kill Medusa without turning to stone. N2: One night, Athena, the

goddess of wisdom, visits him. With her is Hermes, the messenger of the gods. Athena: Perseus, we are here to help you with your task. Perseus: I am so grateful to you. I do not know how I will cut off Medusa's head if I cannot look at her. Athena: Take this shining metal shield. Use it as a mirror. Do not look straight at Medusa. Look at her reflection in the shield.


Perseus grabs the eye that belongs to the Gray Sisters.

Then you will be safe. Hermes: Take this magic sickle knife. Its diamond blade can cut off her head with one stroke. Perseus: Thank you. But where can I find Medusa? Athena: Only the Gray Sisters can tell you. They live on a cliff by the edge of the sea.

Scene 3 N1: Athena and Hermes show Perseus how to get to

the place where the Gray Sisters live. Athena: They live on the other side of this mountain. You must go alone and go quietly. N2: Perseus climbs into the Gray Sisters' lair. He sees the sisters. They are old and weird-looking. N1: They share one eye. They pass it back and forth to take turns seeing. N2: Perseus hides behind a rock, watching them. As one sister hands the eye to another, Perseus leaps in and grabs it. Gray Sister: Where is the eye? Who has it? Perseus: I have it! Gray Sister: Give it back! Perseus: Answer one question. Where can I find the Gorgon Medusa? Gray Sister: We can't tell you that. The Gorgons are our sisters! Perseus: Tell me, or I will throw your eye into the sea. N1: The Gray Sisters are horrified. If Perseus throws their eye away, they'll never be able to see anything. Gray Sister: You must ask the nymphs of the north. Only they can help you. Perseus: Tell me where they are, and I will return your eye to you. N2: The Gray Sisters tell Perseus where tofindthe nymphs. He gives back their eye and leaves.

Scene 4 NI: Perseusfindsthe beautiful nymphs of the north. Perseus: Lovely nymphs, I seek the Gorgon Medusa so that I may cut off her head. Nymph 1: She is evil. We would be glad to help you. Nymph 2: You will need three things. First, these winged sandals. Put them on and you will be able to fly to the Gorgons' cave at the end of the world. Nymph 1: Here is a cloth sack. Even after Medusa's head is cut off, one look can still turn you to stone. You must put her head in this sack right away. Nymph 2: The last thing you need is the Cap of Darkness. N2: She hands Perseus a golden helmet. Nymph 1: When you put it on, it makes you invisible. Medusa's sisters won't be able to find you as you escape. Perseus: Thank you! N1: With his winged sandals, Perseus flies through the sky. Finally, he reaches Medusa's cave at the end of the world. N2: Everywhere he looks, he sees statues. They all used to be people and animals. They turned to stone when they looked at Medusa. NI: Perseus creeps into the cave. He walks backward and uses Athena's shield as | October 8, 2012 1 1

a mirror to see behind him. N2: Medusa and her sisters are sleeping. But as Perseus gets closer, the snakes on Medusa's head begin to move and hiss. NI: Medusa wakes up. She sees Perseus and shrieks with anger. N2: Perseus must act quickly, or he is doomed. He reaches behind himself and swings the magic sickle as hard as he can at Medusa. NI: Medusa's scream ends as her head rolls away from her body. N2: Perseus grabs Medusa's head. Without looking at it, he shoves it into the sack. N1: Just then. Medusa's sisters wake up and see her headless body. Gorgon: Aaaaaah! Our sister! Who has done this? N2: Perseus runs out of the cave. The Gorgon sisters fly after him. Gorgon: You cannot get away from us! We'll get you for this! NI: Perseus puts the Cap of Darkness on his head and becomes invisible. He flies off into the night. Scene d N2: Perseus returns to Seriphos. He is horrified to learn that the king lied about marrying someone else. N1: The king has made Danae a slave because she 1 2 Scholastic Action | October 8, 2012

Perseus lifts up Medusa's head. The king turns to stone!

still won't marry him. N2: Perseus marches into the palace. Danae is on her knees, scrubbing the floors. The king is amazed to see Perseus alive. King: You? Here? How is that possible? Perseus: I have returned with a gift for you, my king. N1: Perseus holds up the sack that contains Medusa's ugly head. King: Do you expect me to believe that you actually have the head of Medusa in that bag? N2: The king and his advisers laugh. Perseus: I do. Would you like to see it?

King (not believing him): Of course we would. Perseus: Mother, close your eyes! Now! N1: Perseus and Danae close their eyes. Perseus quickly lifts Medusa's head out of the sack. N2: The king's eyes widen in shock. N1: He and his advisers turn to stone. N2: Perseus puts the head back in the bag. He runs to his mother. Danae: My brave son! N1: Throughout Greece, word spreads of Perseus' daring feat. Forever after, he is known as a true hero. —Spencer Kayden


Perseus' Problems Below are five problems from the play "The Hunt for Medusa's Head." How is each problem solved in the story? Write the solutions in the chart. (If you can't remember, look back at the play for help.)



1. Perseus must kill Medusa, but he'll turn to stone if he looks at her. 12. The Gray Sisters don't want to tell Perseus how to find Medusa, because Medusa is their sister. 3. The Gorgons' cave is at the end of the world. It's not easy to get there. After Perseus kills Medusa, her sisters wake up and come after him. The king has forced Perseus' mother, Danae, to be his slave. | 0

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The Hunt for Medusa's Head.pdf

nothing to offer your king? Perseus (angrily): I may be. poor, but I am not lazy. I will. bring you any gift you want! King: Very well. Bring me. the head of Medusa.

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