Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

In Greek Myth, the Three Gorgons – mortal Medusa and her immortal sisters Stheno and Euryale – were Monster figures: women with snakes for hair, one glimpse of whose faces converted onlookers to Statues. A marble Gorgon Mask of the 6th century BC is an early exemplar of what this encyclopedia terms the Face of Glory. The Hero Perseus escaped by looking only at Medusa's reflection in his shield, and beheaded her; his legend is retold in Clash of the Titans (1981). The petrifying gaze and Mirror defence are recurring fantasy Plot Devices. C L Moore's Science-Fantasy "Shambleau" (1933 WT) revises the Gorgon as a tentacle-haired alien psychic Vampire. [JH/DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.