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Coles, P. (1994). The myth of Andromeda: an aspect of female sexuality. Free Associations, 4(3):455-473.

(1994). Free Associations, 4(3):455-473

Clinical Paper

The myth of Andromeda: an aspect of female sexuality

Prophecy Coles

Cassiopeia and Cepheus are Queen and King of Ethiopia. They have a daughter, Andromeda. One day, as Cassiopeia and Andromeda are bathing by the seashore, Cassiopeia proclaims that Andromeda is more beautiful than Poseidon's daughters, the Nereids. This angers Poseidon, for mortals cannot be likened to gods, and he insists that Andromeda must be sacrificed to him as atonement. She is chained to a rock on the seashore, and waits to be devoured by a female sea monster. Perseus, winging his way homeward after slaying Medusa, sees her and falls in love with her. He says that he will rescue her if he can marry her. Cassiopeia and Cepheus readily agree. When Perseus has killed the sea monster, however, Cassiopeia changes her mind. At the wedding feast of Perseus and Andromeda she summons Andromeda's previous suitor, Agenor (some say Agenor is Cassiopeia's brother), to the wedding feast, and exhorts him to kill Perseus and claim Andromeda for himself. Perseus brings out Medusa's head and turns all the wedding guests to stone, then he and Andromeda are free to marry (Graves, 1955).

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