Danae was the only child of king Acrisius of Argos. Her father received a prophecy that he would be killed by his grandchild. In order to ensure Danae never had children, she was locked up in a tower, away from the rest of the world. However, Zeus, disguised as a golden shower, found her, leaving her pregnant with a son, Perseus.
When Perseus was born, Acrisius had to have him killed. However, killing or arranging their death himself would be terrible crime and would lose him favour from gods and men alike, so he decided to have them placed in a chest and thrown out to sea so their fate was decided by the gods.
Zeus saw the chest and safely guided it tothe island of Seriphos. They were found by Dictys, a fisherman who was the brother of king Polydectes. He raised Perseus as his own son and they lived happily until Danae caught the eye of Polydectes. He began to woo her but she was protected by the young Perseus. Seeing he was in the way, Polydectes held a feast where all the guests had to provide him with gifts. Perseus had nothing to give and so pledged service to Polydectes. Polydectes asked Perseus to kill Medusa and the young hero agreeed. During this time, Danae continued to refuse the king and hid in a sacred temple to escape his abuse. In anger, Perseus strode into his throne room upon arrival on the island. Polydectes asked why he had returned to the island and asked for proof of Medusa's death. Perseus then displayed the head of the gorgon to the king and his counsellors and all were turned to stone. He then installed Dictys as king. Danae and Perseus then returned to Argos.