Danaë is a character from Greek mythology
. She was the daughter of the King of Argos
, and the mother of the hero Perseus
. When she was born, her father had wanted a male heir. He, like everyone else in Greek mythology, went to the oracle in Delphi
. The oracle told him that he would indeed have a male heir, born of Danaë. The catch, however, was that Danaë's son would be his cause of death. Acrisius, not altogether fond of this notion, locked Danaë in a tower made of bronze, under the care of her old nurse.
Somehow, Zeus came to know of Danaë (he is a god, after all) and he, ever the lady's
man god, fell in love with her, and came to visit her in the form of a golden shower (of rain), and thusly was Perseus conceived. So, with Perseus being born sometime later, the king then decided to exile the two of them by having them locked up in a chest, which he constructed, and thrown out into the ocean. The reason he didn't just kill them outright was that Zeus is a really powerful god. One doesn't just do that.
Danaë, with her young son Perseus, floated from Argos all the way to the island of Seriphos, in the Cyclades archipelago. There, she was discovered by a fisherman by the name of Dictys. Danaë and Perseus lived with Dictys and his wife, all of them together on the island. Eventually, as many boys do, Perseus turned into a man.
Dictys, the fisherman, had a brother, Polydectes, who just happened to be the king of Seriphos. Polydectes fell in love with Danaë, and propositioned her to become his mistress. Danaë refused, and Perseus supported her in this. Polydectes grew angry, and because he was passive-aggresive, he brewed up a plan. A brewworthy plan. He pretended that he was going to marry a certain woman, Hippodamia. For their wedding, he demanded that every young man on the island proffer a fine horse as tribute. He knew that Perseus had no horses. What a crafty king.
Perseus, however, claimed that he could bring back the head of a Gorgon, however. Polydectes sends him off to do so. Persues does so, but that is all part of the Perseus story. When he comes back, Perseus declares that he wants to meet his grandfather. To this end, he takes his new wife (he got married while he was away) Andromeda and his mom back to Argos. His grandfather, Acrisius, King of Argos, caught news that his grandson was in town, and quickly took up heel to Thessaly. Well wouldn't luck have it that the King of Thessaly (or of Larissa) had declared a time of games. Perseus, ever a heroic Greek, entered the games. In one event, he threw a discus. The wind caught the discuss, and blew it away. It landed, striking Acrisius in the head (or the heel). Acrisius died as foretold.
In art, aside from the original greek representations on urns and the like, other artists have taken up the challenge of representing the beautiful Danaë.
Danaë, Jan Gossaert, 1527
Danäe, Correggio, 1531
Danaë, Titian, 1554
Danaë, Artemisia Gentileschi, 1612
Danaë, Rembrandt Van Rijn, 1636
Danaë, John William Waterhouse, 1892
Danaë, Gustav Klimt, 1908
Danaë, Franz von Stuck, 1923
Pseudo_Intellectual's sister is named Danaë. She lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Also, there is a rose shrub called the Danaë. It has glossy, dark green foliage and medium-sized yellow-white flowers, which first blossom in mid-spring, and continue through the whole summer until autumn. It needs rather little sulight, and can climb trees.