What Cassiopeia made known was that she was prettier than the Nereids, Poseidon's female posse. Why this story isn't about the death wish or self-destructive vanity, I don't know. Well, maybe I do, because I don't know what happened to Cassiopeia but I do know that Poseidon, who was Zeus' brother, had some angry Nereids to deal with, which he did by having Cassiopeia's daughter, Andromeda, picked up by the too-pretty police.
A monster was rented from Monsters-R-Us, the most profitable business going in mythology, and dispatched to Cassiopeia's own Ethiopia.
Word was that that only when Andromeda was slain would everyone mythical and powerful be happy (for happy, read, triumphant). And since anticipation is half the joy in killing a beautiful woman or any woman (what's wrong with this story? lots!), Andromeda was chained to a rock. Rocks and chains--ancient Greek holding cells. Women in distress--the stuff of every other t.v. show or movie.
The rest of the story, which varies, is in my poem, "Blame It on Family," kindly presented in the Fall 2011 issue of Redheaded Stepchild. Please read it! Thanks.
*By the way, I couldn't bear to post one of those classical images of half-naked Andromeda twisting on her chains, her breasts a twitter. She is a rose. All women are roses. In the picture above, the rose in encased, courtesy of the Rosicrucian order.