In order to prevent this event from taking place, King Acrisius locked his daughter in an inaccessible tower, thereby removing her from contact with any potential suitors. Or so he thought...
The god Zeus, who always had an eye for female charms, was struck by the beauty of Danae, and desired her. Zeus therefore transformed himself into a shower of gold, and in this form impregnated Danae. The result of this union of human and divine was the great Greek hero Perseus.
But, of course, the birth of Perseus does not signal the end of this story. In ancient Greece, fate was difficult to elude. However, that did not stop Acrisius from trying anyway, for he sent Danae and the infant Perseus off in an attempt to rid himself of the child who would be the cause of his death. Naturally, both mother and son survived, and Perseus went on to achieve fame as a hero. Eventually, Perseus unwittingly fulfilled the prophecy told before his birth.
Danae in Art History
Gallery | For pictures and information about Danae in art, visit the Mythography gallery!
Who's Who in Classical Mythology