In Book Twelve of the Odyssey, an epic by Homer, Odysseus retells his encounter with the sirens. Odysseus tells us the directions he recives from Circe and we learn that he doesn’t need to listen to the sirens but becasue he is motivated to be the hero and gain recognition he tells his men he must listen. Circe says,”Soften some beeswax and stop your shipmates’ ears so none can hear, none of the crew, but if you are bent on hearing, have them tie you hand and foot in the swift ship, erect at the mast-block, lashed by ropes to the mast so you can hear the Sirens’ song to your heart’s content.”Crice makes it clear that he doesn’t have to listen, but despite what she says Odysseus goes against it.
The unwise Odysseus says,”First, she warns, we must steer clear of the Sirens, their enchanting song, their meadow starred with flowers. I alone was to hear their voices, so she said, but you must bind me with tight chafing ropes so I cannot move a muscle, bound to the spot, erect at the mast-block, lashed by ropes to the mast.” Even though the wise Crice tells Odysseus he doesn’t need to listen he does it for the reconigtion and to be the hero.?? In the poem “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood, we get a different point of view. The speaker is the siren who is trying to lure you in by telling you are unique and perfect.
The siren says you are the only one who can help and to come closer. The text says,” I will tell the secret to you, to you, only to you. Come closer. This song is a cry for help: Help me! Only you, only you can, you are unique.” The victim the siren lures in is foolish and lets his pride/being a hero get in the way and falls for the bait. Since the siren directly adresses the readers/victims asking for help their pride gets in the way (like it did for Odysseus) and they fall for the trap.
Luckily Odysseus was tied up or he too would’ve fallen for the trap.