Dangerous Female Creatures And Odysseus

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Dangerous Female Creatures and Odysseus Michele R. Carroll English 2410 Professor John Tolbert February 29, 2008 In book XII of the Odyssey, our hero Odysseus and his crew, are forced to confront several dangerous female creatures while out at sea. Odysseus is warned by his goddess lover Circe that he will encounter several ghastly female beings, and she guides him as to how he and his men should confront these terrible creatures. The dreadful female creatures: the Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis, are used by Homer to personify the menacing and beguiling aspect of nature’s wrath, while highlighting the seductive nature of women. Circe informs Odysseus of the Sirens seduction, “the Sirens… / those creatures who spellbind any man alive, / …whoever draws too close, / off guard, and catches the Sirens’ voices in the air / no sailing home for him, no wife rising up to meet him, / …The high thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him” (lines 45-50). The key word in this quote is “thrilling”. Certainly any man can be transfixed by a “thrilling” seductive female. Imagine several “thrilling” seductive female voices, and what we know of the weak nature of man. I believe that Homer uses these beings to convey that man is completely spellbound, trapped, and facing danger when he gives in to the seductive nature of women. Odysseus wants to hear these songs of the Sirens, and he instructs his crew to tie him to the ship, to block sound from their ears with beeswax, and to tie him tighter if he pleads to be let loose. “So they sent their ravishing voices out across the air and the heart inside me throbbed to listen longer” (208-210). Odysseus is tempted to go towards the Sirens call, but his men tie him ever tightly to the ship. The Sirens tell Odysseus, “We know the pains that the Greeks and Trojans
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