The Possessed In Waterhouse's Ulysses And The Siren

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The sirens were creatures who lured men to their death with their beautiful but dangerous voices. They were the daughters of the river god Achelous. The sirens were considered ally’s with Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter. They were given wings to protect Persephone, however after Hades abducted Persephone, Demeter made them into the monsters they are known for today. They were creatures with the body of a bird and the face of a women. They waited for passing ships and with their music they made sailors leap overboard to their doom. In the painting Ulysses and the Sirens, by John William Waterhouse uses the idea that the men are enhanced, mesmerized by the Sirens surrounding them as they continue working, trying to avoid their cry for help to show that people will go to great measures to get what they want, while in the poem “Siren Song,” by Margaret Atwood uses the same scene to show that people will only go as far as to help themselves. By analyzing the…show more content…
Creatures with the body of a bird and the face a women surround boats that are full of men, they are known as sirens. Men are mesmerized by them. With Odysseus tied to a pole and the others rowing while trying to block out the sound of the sirens singing. The mood of the painting can be described as violent, because in the painting the sirens are attacking the men and trying to get them to jump overboard to their death. Odysseus stopped up the ears of his men to drown out the sound of the sirens seductive singing, while he had himself tied to the pole so he could hear the creatures beautiful voices. Odysseus was seeking primordial knowledge without being destroyed. The creatures voices are so seductive that Odysseus begs to be let loose, but his faithful men only bind him tighter. Waterhouse took this idea of sirens from a Greek vase in the British
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