Polydectes, ruler of Seriphos


King Polydectes was the ruler of the island of Seriphos. His brother was Dictys. He fell in love with Danaë when Dictys saved her and her son Perseus. He wanted to get rid of Perseus so he could marry Danaë.


Dictys was the brother of King Polydectes. He was either the son of Magnes and an unnamed naiad, Peristhenes and Androthoe, or of Poseidon and Cerebia.


Under the pretence that he was going to marry Hippodamia, he ordered every man in Seriphos to supply him with suitable gifts. His friends were supposed to supply horses but Perseus didn't bring any, so Polydectes announced that he wanted only the head of the Gorgon, Medusa, and nothing else, believing that he would never be able to accomplish so hard a task, while managing to stay alive. Anyone who looked directly into the eyes of the Gorgon would be instantaneously turned into stone. Perseus agreed, and Polydectes told him that he could not return without her head. Perseus killed Medusa, and used his shield to avoid looking at her. Polydectes unintentionally made Perseus the hero of the myth by this statement.

When Perseus returned to Seriphos with Medusa's head, he found out that Danaë was threatened, abused, and possibly even raped by Polydectes, and had to seek refuge in a temple. Perseus was furious and barged into the throne room where Polydectes and his nobles were having a meeting.

Polydectes was surprised that Perseus was still alive, after the dangerous task that he sent him out to accomplish. Perseus stated that he did in fact manage to get her head, and as proof, he revealed it to Polydectes and his men, who were immediately turned into stone at this action.


  • Strengths: Polydectes was both cunning and clever, because he devised a plan to get rid of Perseus so he could marry Danaë. This plan, however, did not work.
  • Weaknesses: He was materialistic and greedy because he demanded every man in Seriphos to supply him with gifts. He was also abusive towards Danaë.


  • He ordered every man on Seriphos to supply him suitable gifts.
  • When Perseus didn't have anything to give him, he wanted the head of the Gorgon, Medusa, believing that he could never be able to accomplish this task. This is exactly how Polydectes unintentionally made Perseus a hero, him the villian.
  • When Perseus returned with Medusa's head, Polydectes was very surprised that he accomplished exactly what Polydectes told him to do, and came back alive.
  • Perseus said to Polydectes that he did get Medusa's head, and showed it to him and his nobles for proof. As expected, Polydectes and his nobles were immediately turned into stone.


  1. "Polydectes." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <>.
  2. "Polydectes." Polydectes. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <>.
  3. "Polydectes in Perseus and Medusa." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <>.
  4. "Polydectes." Polydectes. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <>.
  5. "Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology: Polydectes." Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology: Polydectes. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <>.

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