An Analysis Of The Sirens In Homer's Odyssey

Good Essays
“Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.” (John Owen) The conceptualization of temptation is something that changes for each individual person. It can take many forms; forms that which humans witness on a daily basis. As written in ancient Greek mythology, the mythical Sirens portray the hardships and consequences of temptation. Many people have taken many interpretations of these Sirens and their habitats from ancient Greek lore and they have thus chosen to express these in different ways. In Homer’s famous tale the Odyssey, there is a featured encounter with the Sirens near the islands of Anthemoessa. In addition, artists such as John Waterhouse, have also depicted Odysseus’ encounter with the Sirens with their own interpretation of these temptatious creatures. Homer and…show more content…
The painting depicts a sort of bird creature with the attractive face of a female, swarming Odysseus’ ship in droves while staring down its occupants with a seductive look, while in the text it is quoted “Square in your ship's path are Sirens crying beauty to bewitch sailors coasting by” ( 678.661-662). This shows similarity in the aspect that both sources described the Sirens as luring their prey with beauty. Both the Sirens from the painting and the Odyssey are mythological creatures that attempt to lure their prey. “So you may hear those harpies’ thrilling voices” (678.675), a quote from the odyssey compares to the appearance to the Sirens in the painting. While in the quote the Sirens are described as harpies, birdlike creatures, rather than the common sea dwelling mermaids. The Odyssey’s representation matches the paintings image of its siren, due to the painting depicting flying crow-like creatures with a woman’s
Get Access