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Imagine seeing a beautiful, mystical bird-like creature with an amazing voice. A siren is a creature half bird and half woman who lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song. Homer and Atwood present the complexity of the myth of the Sirens in different tones, perspectives, telling imagery, and they both show many similarities and differences.
Homer tells the story of a man that is clever enough to hear the sirens song and not lose his life, while Atwood is telling the story from the view of a siren, who is waiting to trick men on her island. In the Siren Song the tone is more masculine and shows more braveness, the tone is that men are manipulative and gullible. They are also different because they are both told from different perspectives. Homer in the “Odyssey” and Margaret Atwood in “Sirens Song”, give different descriptions of the sirens through their point of view and tone.
How it works
Homer and Atwood present the complexity of the myth of the Sirens in different tones, perspectives, telling imagery, and they both show many similarities and differences. The sirens in the Odyssey written by Homer it mainly explains the perspective of Odysseus. The point of view of this story affects the tone of the poem because it makes it seem more masculine and brave from the way Odysseus tells it.
A sample of this would be when Odysseus says “Therefore you are to tie me up, tie as a splint, erect along the mast, lashed to the mast, and if I shout and beg to be untied, take more turns to rope to muffle me” (Homer). The quote shown represents bravery because even though the sirens song is very intriguing, and alluring he still wants to hear it. The sirens are descripted as alluring creatures that are dangerous with gorgeous voices and they are very beautiful.
They are portrayed like this because when Odysseus rolled up the wax and put it in the ears of his crew and he has them tie him up, to show that they take these actions very seriously because they understand how dangerous the sirens can be. Another example could be when Odysseus says “The lovely voiced in ardor appealing over the water made me crave to listen, and I tried to say “Untie me!” to the crew” (Homer). This is telling us that the song of the sirens is so powerful and alluring that even Odysseus couldn’t resist wanting to be set free.
The poem Sirens Song is being told from the perspective of the sirens. The point of view impacts the tone of the poem because it is showing how the sirens are able to manipulate and make the men look gullible. As Atwood wrote it shows the resemblance of the words of how she wrote it and how the sirens song was sung, for example in the last the of each stanza it is broken, which makes the readers eye move to the next stanza without realizing the trickery. This is the same way that the sirens sing their song to lure the men to them. Another example is when the sirens say “I will tell the secret to you, to you, only to you” (Atwood). This shows how gullible the men are because they will feel unique, and special because they actually feel like they are the only one they will tell the secret to.
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