Greek Mythology Essay

1074 words - 4 pages

The characters in Greek Mythology can have several different interpretations. Among these characters are the dangerous, yet gorgeous Sirens, bird-women who sit on a cliff singing bewitching songs to captivate the minds of innocent travelers and bring them to their deaths. In Homer’s The Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song,” both poets give different portrayals of the Sirens. Homer believes the Sirens to be irresistible in order to establish men as heroes whereas Atwood depicts them as unsightly and pathetic so she can prove men are foolish and arrogant using imagery, diction, and point of view.
Homer wants the overall portrayal of the Sirens to be intriguing and desirable because he wishes all to consider Odysseus as valiant. Homer describes the effect the Sirens have when Odysseus’ “'heart inside [him throbs] to listen longer,'” proving the Sirens to be seductive (20). The effect of his heart throbbing verifies that Odysseus longs to be with the Sirens, forcing an image of a man struggling against his will in order to be near a beautiful temptress. This suggests that the Sirens are irresistible and cunning because they know that they will be able to trick the men into falling for the Sirens. Odysseus longs to listen to the lovely music more to satisfy his desire to be with the Sirens. In order to both hear the song and stay alive, Odysseus’ men physically “bind [him] faster with rope on chafing rope” (24). The effect that the Sirens have on him is great, and the fact that the rope is irritating his skin shows the effort Odysseus is making to be with the Sirens. Nonetheless, throughout the scene Odysseus attempts to join the Sirens, without realizing the terrible consequences. Since the temptresses are so “ravishing,” it is as if no man can resist (19). They are so devastatingly attractive that they have the ability to lure in innocent men and watch them die because, after all, “beauty is pain.” Their “honeyed” voices are so sweet and deliciously thick that one can easily forget that they are also sticky (17). Once the men are drawn to the Sirens, they are stuck and there is no way for them to escape. Furthermore, Homer explains the encounter with the Sirens from Odysseus’ point of view. The Sirens try to attract Odysseus by singing compliments to “famous Odysseus” so he will think that he is the object of their desire (14). The Sirens are intelligent enough to know what Odysseus’ true weaknesses are, flattery and the desire for recognition; his faults are similar to other men, however they do not yearn for knowledge. When Odysseus sails by, they attack his weaknesses, just as they do the other ships. Nonetheless, Odysseus is able to outsmart them. The Sirens sing to him and promise he will be able to “[sail] on a wiser man” if Odysseus listens to their song (18). He falls for their trickery and attempts to join them, risking his life to gain the knowledge that the Sirens guarantee. Odysseus navigates himself through the sea with hopes...

Find Another Essay On Greek Mythology

Greek and Roman Mythology Essay

1577 words - 6 pages Greek and Roman mythology is well know. The people of that time period were passionate about the gods and did everything in their power to please them. Like most religions the goal is be like one of the gods in order to achieve good fortune or to gain everlasting life. One of the most interesting characteristics about the Greek and Roman Gods is how the gods are not perfect in that they make the same mistakes that the average human would make

Israelite and Greek Mythology Essay

1549 words - 6 pages rules of conduct. In both texts, these guidelines for judgment are crucial because they give formal validity to the punishments that each god distributes. The similarities found are as a result of the Greek appropriation of the Israelites mythology, however, the differences and variations within the texts are essential in understanding the differences in their cultures. These differences include how the judgments were pronounced, what the

Greek Mythology and Christianity

734 words - 3 pages This essay cites works which are included within a book entitled Classical Mythology: Images & Insights by Stephen L. Harris and Gloria Platzner. Published by McGraw-Hill Co. New York, NY 2004. The works used are Theogony and Works and Days by Hesiod, and the stories of Dionysus paralled to Jesus Christ.Greek Myth and ChristianityMythology in Greek and Roman history were used to try and explain their surroundings. Because of their lack of

oracles in greek mythology

747 words - 3 pages culture’s fortunetellers because they were associated with a specific person, place and god. The oracles had shrines built for the gods to help them communicate with the oracles. Oracles in Greek mythology were very helpful to the narrators of writings too because the diviner couldn’t be questioned. When an oracle is given it is fate, the fate given happens no matter how unfair it may seem and the narrator doesn’t have to explain it. Oracles tend

Overview of Greek Mythology

3224 words - 13 pages Greek mythology is a body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks concerning Titans, gods, and heroes. According to Alan Dundes, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind assumed their present form (Dundes 1). Though now it may be referred to as mythology, to the ancient Greeks it was an aspect of their religion. Like many other pre-Christian societies, the ancient Greeks deemed things that were

Monsters in Greek Mythology

1790 words - 7 pages One of the most interesting qualities of Greek mythology is probably the depiction of monsters in the myths. However, these monsters are not all unique. In fact, they all fall into very distinct categories, making them almost the same. Most monsters in Greek mythology look and act in the same ways. Several monsters from these myths look the same in that they have very similar qualities such as being large, snake or human like. However, they are

Greek Mythology and Religion

1840 words - 7 pages the mystery cults, most of the early religions in Greece are not solemn or serious in nature nor do they contain the concepts of fanaticism or mystical inspiration, which were Asian beliefs and did not appear until the Hellenistic period (about 323-146 B.C.). At its first appearance in classical literature, Greek mythology had already received its definitive form. Some divinities were either introduced or developed more fully at a later date, but

Greek and Roman Mythology

790 words - 4 pages Greek and Roman mythology was born because people were curious to know about the root of their existence: how they came to the world, and everything that surrounds them. It was born during the time of no scientific advancement. The unexplained world gave a reason to fear and to behave. They worshipped many Gods, creating a polytheistic society. They believed that the Gods controlled natural forces. Roman mythology is a combination of rituals

Greek Mythology: Poseidon

1813 words - 7 pages Ποσειδών (Poseidon) Poseidon is one of the strongest gods in Greek mythology. Poseidon was the god of water, horses, and earthquakes. He was thought to be the reason for boat wrecks, and drowning’s. Cronus and Rhea are the parents of Poseidon in Greek mythology. Poseidon is one of the 3 sons; the others are Hades and Zeus. And there three sisters were Demeter, Hestia, Hera, and while Cronus was the horrible father who feared his own

Devine Interaction: Greek Mythology

1734 words - 7 pages In Greek mythology and literature, the Gods are always present in some shape or form. It has been recorded in ancient Greek literature that the Gods interacted with mortal humans quite often. Nothing would change a mortal human’s life more than interacting with the Gods. What is the reason for such events? The Olympian Gods constantly intervene with the mortals, but what is the cause? The Gods show their power over mortal men through divine

Greek Mythology and the Bible

1111 words - 4 pages Studying Greek Mythology and the Bible separately in school, the students’ interest was the utmost importance for the professors. As students grow and mature, there is a greater understanding of how subjects interconnect and how they reflect each other. Greek Mythology may have had some influence on the Bible, and research shows connections between them. It is up to the readers of each to decide whether or not they intertwine, whether or not

Similar Essays

Greek Mythology Essay

1299 words - 5 pages As ancient Greek mythology began to evolve, the Age of Gods and Mortals had created such an epic beginning for stories to revolve around. Greeks regarded mythology as a part of their history. They used myth to explain natural phenomena, cultural variations, traditional beliefs and friendships. Greece had been mainly defined by its numerous accounts of various wars and battles, as well as its incredible architecture, but nothing had defined

Greek Mythology Essay

1132 words - 5 pages Greek Mythology Mythology was an integral part of the lives of all ancient peoples. The myths of Ancient Greece are the most familiar to us, for they are deeply entrenched in the consciousness of Western civilization. The myths were accounts of the lives of the deities whom the Greeks worshipped. The Greeks had many deities, including 12 principal ones, who lived on Mt. Olympus. The myths are all things to all people – a rollicking good yarn

Norse M Ythology Vs. Greek Mythology Essay

1039 words - 4 pages Norse Mythology vs. Greek Mythology      There are many mythologies in the world, and all of these have things in common as well as differences. A very popular mythology would be Greek mythology, Which many people know about it or at least know of it. Another not as popular mythology is Norse mythology; Norse mythology is the religion of the Norse people. The Norse people are the ancient people of northern Europe

Roman And Greek Mythology. Essay

518 words - 2 pages . They tried to imagine how it could have come into being in the first place. In the Greek city-states cults centering around the worship of a particular god developed very early.The legends of ancient Greece are more familiar because they have become sopermanently set in literary traditions of western civilization. Greek mythology followed the pattern other mythologies: the forces of nature were given personalities and were worshipped. There was no