Polydectes, King of Seriphos, sent Perseus to get the vile Gorgon’s head, thinking it was a hopeless errand that would lead to the boy’s death.
POLYDECTES, King of Seriphos, coveted Danaë, but he was afraid of her young son Perseus.
So the King demanded that the boy leave the island, and not return without the head of the Gorgon Medusa, so hideous that to look on her would turn a man to stone.
As he went, Perseus met Athene, who gave him a shield polished like a mirror, and a sword of adamant.
Nymphs gave him a helmet too, brought from Hades itself, which shrouded him in darkness as Perseus crept into Medusa’s den.
Using the reflection in the shield, Perseus did not have to look on the Gorgon directly, and with a single stroke he swept off her head as she slept.
When he returned to Seriphos, Perseus found his mother still harassed by Polydectes. He brandished the Gorgon’s head before the King’s horrified eyes, and turned him to stone.