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Siren Song

In “Homer’s Odyssey” and “Siren Song” both show the weaknesses of human beings. Also it reveals humans find something so enticing that they are incapable of withstanding it. In “Homer’s Odyssey” Homer creates an illusion that the sirens are dangerous creatures, unlike Atwood’s poem, “Siren Song.

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” Atwood’s poem however shows a desperation coming from the sirens. In “Homer’s Odyssey” the poem is told from Odysseus point of view. He portrays the Sirens as mysterious and luring.Circes advises Odysseus that the Sirens “spellbind any man alive, whoever comes their way. ” Gaining this knowledge, Odysseus made his sailors plug their ears with beeswax so they would avoid hearing the thrilling songs of the Sirens. Odysseus was determined to hear the beautiful songs of the Sirens, even though he was aware of the consequences. This reveals mans selfishness by having Odysseus do whatever it takes to hear the song.

Odysseus orders his men to tie him down on the mast to ensure his survival.Odysseus hears the Siren’s song and starts to react to it, his men “flung themselves to the oars” and “sprung up at once to bind him faster with ropes. ” This shows how inciting the sirens were to men. In “Homer’s Odyssey” a man’s perceptive is shown, and describes how temptation will always be a part of life. Unlike “Homer’s Odyssey”, Atwood’s poem “Siren Song” is told from the Sirens point of view. The sirens are portrayed as irresistible creatures that cause men to completely lose all self control.One of the Sirens states “I don’t enjoy it here,” in “Homer’s Odyssey” all the sirens seem to be fond of singing their admirable songs.

In Atwood’s poem a Siren is begging for help; “Help me, only you can. ” Unfortunately no one can help because once the music of the Sirens touches the ear; they succumb to the power of the Sirens. The Sirens have a certain desperation to be set free from their unpleasant life on the island. “Will you get me out of this bird suit? ” shows that the Sirens in Atwood’s poem have identities, opposite of “Homer’s Odyssey”.There is no information in The Odyssey that infers that the sirens have an identity. In both poems the Sirens voices show an irresistible lure to men. The reasons that the Sirens sings differ from each poem.

In” Homer’s Odyssey,” Odysseus feels like they are targeting him, however in Atwood’s poem the Sirens are simply singing for themselves. The Sirens seem sympatric to the men who jump overboard, yet unable to stop themselves from calling the men to their island.The poems “Homer’s Odyssey” and “Siren Song” have many similarities in how the Sirens are portrayed but at the same time they differ in many different aspects of the poems. The “Sirens Song” Sirens use the men’s own natural curiosity to bring the men to them. The “Odyssey” Sirens use enchantment and the promise of passion to get the men to come. Either way, the Sirens reveal how tricky and clever they are with their magical songs. Nevertheless, the Sirens could just be trying to torment men for their own entertainment or they could be trying to reach out for help.