|Danae's Painting during Pre-Raphaelite Movement(1833-1898)|
Argos, Date: Unknown
Once upon a time, in the city of Argos, in the southern part of Greece lived a fair maiden, Danae. Beautiful and gentle, she had many suitors for she was the only daughter of Eurydice and Aerisius, the King and Queen of Argos.
One day, they took her to visit the local Oracle, as was the practice during those days. But they got a shock of their lives. The Oracle, a seer for many centuries, told them bluntly that the child borne by Danae, would be the cause of death for her father. Furious upon hearing this, he ordered his guards to imprison her in the darkest of his dungeons, with only her nurse as her companion.
Danae was heartbroken and cursed her fate. Her cries were heard by the mighty Zeus himself when he was passing by on a quest. Curious, he peeked into the dungeon and immediately wanted her as his own. He appeared before her as a shower of gold and she was dazed by his divine presence.
They spent many happy hours together, locked in their passion. Danae forgot all about her sorrow and Zeus promised to visit her every day till they could not come up with a plan to free her from this ordeal. (Why? Well, personally I think he was just being his mean self and did not want her in his life on a permanent basis.)
But before he could think of a plan, the nurse found out that Danae was pregnant with Zeus's child. She was scared of Zeus so did not report it to the King immediately. But soon loyalty won and she went and told the King. But as fate would have it, the child came to this world before Eurydice could reach his daughter. His advisers told him not to kill the child, for he was Zeus's son but rather throw them out.
Danae begged her father. "No father, he is so innocent. Don't you feel any love? I beg you to have mercy on us."
But the King was too scared of his own death to listen to his only daughter. He ordered a big, wooden crate to be built. After putting the mother and child inside that, he threw it into the Sea. Zeus saw this and guided the box to safety and they landed on the Island of Seriphos.
At that time, the King of Seriphos, Polydectes, was fishing on his Royal ship. He saw a crate bobbing on the glittering waves. He ordered his men to haul it over. He was stunned to find a beautiful girl and an infant inside the crate.
------What happens after Polydectes falls in love with Danae and the little infant grows up to be the mighty Perceus is another tale to tell. :)
Danae was a Greek Princess who was imprisoned by her own father, to prevent the fulfilment of a prophecy which foretold that her son will be the death for the King. Though she found love with Zeus, he never helped her to escape. When she did escape she fell into the clutches of Polydectus, whose hatred for her son overshadowed his judgements.
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