Comparing The Odyssey And Siren Song

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“The Odyssey” by Homer is a famous set of epic poems about a man named Odysseus trying to get back to his family. “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood is a poem that gives the reader more information about the siren story and enhances the mood of the Odyssey. A painting by John William Waterhouse, “Odysseus and the Sirens”, allows the viewer to picture the siren story in their mind and make the fantasy seem almost true. In the painting “Ulysses and the Sirens”, John William Waterhouse uses the imagery of Ulysses tied up to the ship to show that in some cases, it is better to follow advice someone gives you. While in “Siren Song”, Margaret Atwood uses the same scene to show that sometimes it is better to be prepared for the worst. “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood is told from a siren’s point of view, …show more content…
This theme is connected to the poem because it talks about the secret to avoid the sirens. The reader is advised by the siren to get away before they sing, and that is the “secret” Atwood is referring to. In the Odyssey, Odysseus comes prepared to the sirens and overcomes them. The oracle tells Odysseus that only he can hear the song, his men cannot. Odysseus overcomes the sirens by putting wax over his men’s ears, and having his men tie him to the mast of the ship to eliminate any possible way he could reach the sirens. In “Ulysses and the Sirens”, the reader can see the siren story from the Odyssey playing out. The overall theme between the poem and painting is to always be prepared for anything because it will benefit you in the long run.
Looking at “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood and “Ulysses and the Sirens” by John William Waterhouse, the poem and painting have a similar theme that relates back to the story of the Odyssey. The theme is about being prepared for the worst, and is shown in the imagery and enjambment of the poem and the mood and the five senses in the painting. Each work has a different message, but are very