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The Sirens In Homer's Siren Song

Good Essays
Everyone knows the Greek myth of Odysseus and his long journey to return home. On this journey, recorded in Homer’s “The Odyssey”, Odysseus encountered the mythical and deadly Sirens. In Homer’s text, Odysseus braves the enchanting songs of the horrible temptresses. In Margaret Atwood’s rendition titled “Siren Song”, though, the Sirens are more humanized, and the satirical writing turns the Sirens into bored singers who hate their jobs. The difference in the portrayal of the Sirens in these two pieces of writing are huge, one being the original text, mythical and suspenseful, the other being a satirized adaptation, depicting the Sirens as normal people in “Bird costumes”, bored and lonely. In Homer’s text, the vivid imagery and tone set the scene for a suspenseful and dangerous adventure; Odysseus encounters the deadly mythical beings and manages to survive their horrible song. Homer sets the scene with a dark and serious tone,…show more content…
In Margaret Atwood’s depiction of the Sirens, they are much more sane and humanized. They are not depicted as horrid creatures, but more as misunderstood yet manipulative “birds”. Unlike in Homer’s version, the Siren’s speech patterns sound like any other human’s in Atwood’s version. They speak like bored children almost, saying “I don’t enjoy it here” and “get me out of this bird suit”. This version is much less serious and mysterious than Homer’s, as it is a satire on the whole myth of the Sirens. Atwood decides to make the Sirens more relatable, they hate their job luring sailors to their deathtrap as much as any other person hates their day job. The Siren speaking indicates clearly that “I don’t enjoy singing this trio”, but she goes on to try to manipulate even the reader to “come closer”, as if she’s like a grifter trying to con you into dieing. At the end of the day, the Siren doesn’t want to be deadly or mysterious, she just wants to get the job done, and “it works every
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