Publication Date


Document Type



21st-century children’s books are a medium through which we may consider the societal values and beliefs we pass onto children; but what about how we share ancient mythology that can be filled with antiquated tropes? This paper compares the origin of Medusa’s snake hair in Ovid’s Metamorphoses to two modern children’s books and analyze the similarities and differences between them. While omitting Poseidon’s rape of Medusa, both stories perpetuate the precedents of victim blaming and pitting women against each other in the form of Athena cursing Medusa as Ovid did in his poem. We must, then, consider the values our retellings of mythology normalize for our youth, but also what it reflects about our current beliefs so that harmful narratives are curbed in favor of more equitable morals.



Download Full Text (460 KB)

Women at Odds & Victim Blaming: Comparing Medusa’s Mythology in 21st Century Children’s Books with Ovid’s Metamorphoses