Monday, December 15, 2008

Scylla & Charybdis: Terrors of the ocean

Scylla and Charybdis

Scylla is a monster in Greek mythology. She is a sea monster who lived underneath a dangerous rock at one side of the Strait of Messia, opposite Charybdis.

Scylla was a nymph, daughter of Phorcys. The fisherman-turned-sea-god Glaucus fell madly in love with her, but she fled from him onto the land where he could not follow. Despair filled his heart. He went to the sorceress Circe to ask for a love potion to melt Scylla's heart. As he told his tale of love to Circe, she herself fell in love with him. She wooed him with her sweetest words and looks, but the sea-god would have none of her. Circe was furiously angry, but with Scylla and not with Glaucus. She prepared a vial of very powerful poison and poured it in the pool where Scylla bathed. As soon as the nymph entered the water she was transformed into a frightful monster with twelve feet and six heads, each with three rows of teeth. Below the waist her body was made up of hideous monsters, like dogs, who barked unceasingly. She stands there in utter misery, unable to move, loathing and destroying everything that came into her reach, a peril to all sailors who passed near her. Whenever a ship passes, each of her heads would seize one of the crew. In the Oddysey, this is one of the many terrors that befell the greeks. Charybdis was once a nymph-daughter of Poseidon and Gaia who flooded lands for her father's underwater kingdom until Zeus turned her into a monster and have her suck in and out water three times an day. She lives in a cave at one side of the Strait of Messina, opposite the monster Scylla, the two of them forming a dangerous threat to passing ships.

1 comment:

Literacy 9 at SDHS said...

Cool image! Scylla and Charbdis are pretty famous references from mythology, actually. There is even mention of them in a song by "The Police" -- does anyone listen to The Police anymore?

Nice work. --RW