Charybdis monster (mythology)

   In Greek my­thology, Charybdis a terrible sea monster who, three times each day, sucked in the sea and dis­charged it again in a whirlpool. Charyb­dis was supposed to have been a daughter of Poseidon and Gaea, whom Zeus in an­ger had hurled into the sea. There she became a whirpool and swallowed up ships that came too near. Charybdis was located in the Straits of Messina, on the Italian side. Navigators striving to es­cape the fate of being sucked into the whirlpool were likely to run into danger from Scylla, another monster on the oppo­site shore. The words Scylla and Charyb­dis came to be used proverbially to signi­fy opposite dangers that beset one's path. The poet Horace says that an author striv­ing to avoid Scylla often drifts into Charybdis; that is, in trying to avoid one fault, he falls into some other. In Shakes­peare's Merchant of Venice, Launcelot, the clown, says to Jessica, "Thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother."