The Role Of The Sirens In Homer's Odyssey

539 words - 2 pages

The Role of the Sirens in Odyssey

The Sirens in the Odyssey represent more than just a maritime danger to the passing ship. They are the desires of man that he cannot have. The Sirens can also be construed as forbidden knowledge or some other taboo object. Whatever these singing women actually are, the sailors are wise to avoid them. As usual, the wily Odysseus cheats at the rules of the game by listening to their song under the restraints constructed by his crew.

In their critical review, Horkheimer and Adorno treat the song of the Sirens as a forbidden knowledge of everything. The Sirens represent man's enlightenment. The two writers state, "Even though the Sirens know all that has happened, they demand the future as the price of that knowledge, and the promise of the happy return is the deception with which the past ensnares the one who longs for it" (Horkheimer and Adorno 48). Even though these critical readers do not mention it, they have repeated a story from the Bible. Adam and Eve also sought enlightenment. Once they tasted the apple and gained knowledge, their future and that of humanity's was forever changed. The Tree of Knowledge was a siren for them.

In a different review, Maurice Blanchot compares the Sirens in the Odyssey to Moby Dick. Ahab was destroyed by his siren, which was an elusive whale named Moby Dick. Blanchot points out, "Ahab and the whale are engaged in a drama, what we can call a metaphysical drama, using the word loosely, and the Sirens and Ulysses are engaged in the same struggle...The result is a sort of victory for him, a dark disaster for Ahab"...

Find Another Essay On The Role of the Sirens in Homer's Odyssey

The Portrayal of Women in Homer's Odyssey

1887 words - 8 pages Does Homer exhibit gender bias in the Odyssey?  Is the nature of woman as depicted in the Odyssey in any way revealing? Upon examining the text of the Odyssey for differential treatment on men and women, it becomes necessary to distinguish between three possible conclusions.  One, differences in treatment reflect the underlying Homeric thesis that  women are "different but equal in nature,"  Two, different treatment  of men and women in the text

Coming of Age in Homer's the Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages Identity is a theme that runs strongly throughout The Odyssey. While much of Homer's work is devoted to Odysseus' journey, an examination of his son Telemakhos provides an excellent example of character development. From the anxious and unconfident young man to which Book I opens to the courageous exactor of his father's estate, Telemakhos undergoes notable emotional maturation. The spiritual journey illustrated by Telemakhos, through his own

Leadership in Homer's, The Odyssey

754 words - 4 pages good leader. In the article "Seven Personal Characteristics of a Good Leader", the author, Barbara White informs the reader on the seven qualities of a good leader and explains each characteristic in detail. In Homer's, The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus displays many leadership traits, one of these traits being courage when he encounters the alluring Sirens in the book of "The Sirens". The second characteristic of a leader that Odysseus

Deception in Homer's The Odyssey

1384 words - 6 pages Cor. 11: 14). Deception is used for many different psychological reasons and it is used in Homer’s The Odyssey by many characters in the poem, including mortals, gods and goddesses. Odysseus is a man of many faces: war hero, adventure seeker, devout Hellenist when he chooses to be, and even bloody murderer. The face he is most known for in The Odyssey, though, is a cunning and deceitful face. As he is planning to escape the cave of the one

The Birth of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

1584 words - 6 pages , Harold ,  Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988 Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988 Jones, Peter V. Homer's Odyssey : a companion to the translation  of Richmond Lattimore.      Carbondale, IL : Southern Illinois University Press, c1988. PA4167 .J66 1988 Peradotto, John , Man in the Middle Voice: Name and Narration in the Odyssey

The Vices of Human Nature in Homer's The Odyssey

579 words - 2 pages The sum of all human traits is defined as human nature, meaning the excuse for our vices, and the flaws of mortal life. In Homer's The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus demonstrates these flaws throughout his journey, constantly struggling through the eternal fight for realization of life and death, and is weighed down by the never ending power struggle of nature versus mankind. In The final chapters of Odysseus's quest, the reader

The Amazing Leadership of Odysseus in Homer's The Odyssey

825 words - 3 pages The epic poem The Odyssey by the ancient Greek writer Homer takes us deep into the life of a man called Odysseus. As the reader gets to know Odysseus many sides of his character are exposed through the challenges he faces. Though he and his crew face danger and obstacles every step of the way Odysseus’s character hardly changes. The entire book Odysseus longs to see his wife but he is a good man and a courageous leader. When the times get

The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

2341 words - 9 pages The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey        Coming towards the end of a war which has consumed an entire decade and laid waste the lives of many, the Greek warriors in Troy choose to take the time and energy to hold funeral games.  This sequence of events leaves the reader feeling confused because it's not something one would expect and seems highly out of place.  Throughout the epic Homer tries to describe what

Odysseus as Pawn of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

1661 words - 7 pages believe that a supreme entity determines and governs their fate and that everyone is merely a pawn in the game of life. Works Cited and Consulted Bloom, Harold ,  Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988 Crane, Gregory , Calypso: Backgrounds and Conventions of the Odyssey,  Frankfurt, Athenaeum 1988 David W. Tandy and Walter C. Neale (edd. and trans.), Hesiod's Works and Days: A Translation and Commentary for the Social Sciences. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Pp. xiv, 149. Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988

The Trials of Odysseus Depicted in Homer's Odyssey

674 words - 3 pages Picture a water-logged, bearded man floundering about in the ocean, yet never failing nor drowning. This is Odysseus, King of Ithaka, trying to survive. In The Odyssey by Homer, characters in the story were impacted by significant events, and emerged either more joyful, or more depressed than before. Telemakhos journeyed on a long voyage to find his father, enduring much pain in the process that eventually lead to reunion with his father. His

Homer's The Odyssey

1643 words - 7 pages Homer's "The Odyssey" The Odyssey is a companion to The Iliad, a story of the Trojan War. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic poems written by Homer. In The Odyssey, Homer relates the misadventures of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, that occur during the decade following the defeat of Troy. In doing so, the fates of his fellow warriors are also made known. The Odyssey begins on Mount Olympus, in the palace of Zeus, king of the gods, where a

Similar Essays

The Role Of Penelope In Homer's Odyssey

1201 words - 5 pages   Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a very important role in Homer's Odyssey.  She provides the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  She is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself.  The objective of this essay is to analyze the important role of Penelope in Odyssey.              Penelope is the reason for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  He is driven throughout his entire journey to

The Role Of The Gods In Homer's The Odyssey

1093 words - 4 pages , strategy and intellect. In ancient Greece, the Gods’ power has constantly been praised and known as the God’s Love. In Homer’s Epic, what has really attracted my attention is how God in his highest love Odysseus and been always with him during his journey. Odysseus also knew that he would not be alive if he was not praising the names of Gods especially with the goddess Athena. In Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey, gods play a very

The Role Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

757 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer's The Odyssey Women form an important part of the folk epic, written by Homer, The Odyssey. Within the story there are three basic types of women: the goddess, the seductress, and the good hostess/wife. Each role adds a different element and is essential to the telling of the story. The role of the goddess is one of a supernatural being, but more importantly one in a position to

The Importance Of Identity In Homer's Odyssey

1435 words - 6 pages The Importance of Identity in Homer's Odyssey Within the epic poem "The Odyssey", Homer presents the story of Odysseus's quest to find his home and his identity. According to Homer's account, with its origin in oral tradition, the two quests are interchangeable, as a mortal defines himself with his home, his geographic origin, his ancestors, his offspring, etc. But in addition to this Homer illustrates the other aspect of human identity