The bronze figurine shimmered in the setting sunlight as I made my way through the bobbing waves of tourists that made up the Piazza della Signoria. It was the way he—the mighty Perseus is whom I speak of—raised the foreboding head of the ravishing Gorgon, Medusa, in victorious pride. I stood in front of the sculpture, capturing pictures in my mind, as if a movie played before me, and I could see the battle between human and monster, defeat and victory, life and death. Blood seems to drip from the slithering, oozing tendrils of her severed head, the last wisps of life flickering at the end of her snake-like fronds of hair. Other statues seemed to stare over at Perseus in awe, the bright emerald bronze standing out from the opaque drab of the rest of the statues.
Standing in a form of contrapposto, he looks down on her body with vengeful disgust, wings on his sandals proving his superiority over her monstrous form. She had once driven men to every corner of the earth, shading their eyes from her piercing gaze.
I braved the legends, the fables, the tales, and found my eyes wandering into her line of vision. To my relief, they were just lifeless marbles, washed away with her menacing lifestyle. Her victims lay at the feet of Perseus, on an ivory pedestal of death, life breathed into them with detailed faces of anguish Cellini sculpted beautifully. Medusa’s body lay at the feet of Perseus, contorted in defeat, a pile of fear and darkness. It seemed to angle away from Perseus’ sword, the sheath of pain that brought her to her defeat.
I gazed at her face one last time, confident that she was no longer a threat. Her face was frozen with her last emotion, a look of content, of confidence. I could hear her cocky laugh ringing in the air as she felt invincible and carefree, completely oblivious to her abrupt death, forever a sculpture to gaze upon.