Essay on Deceptive Females of Homer's Odyssey

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The Deceptive Females of Homer's Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey is probably the most famous and well-known epic of all time. This tale relates the adventures of the archetypal hero, Odysseus. Odysseus' long journey home takes him to many different places where he encounters many different monsters and creatures, but there are certain recurrent elements throughout. The most common themes in the Odyssey are forgetfulness, willingness to risk pain for pleasure, and sexual temptation.

When comparing the Sirens episode with Odysseus' other adventures, one can observe an emergence and repetition of these themes. The most obvious comparison that can be drawn between the Sirens episode and most other adventures is the theme of
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Those who ate the fruit had to be bound to the ship, like Odysseus must be tied to the mast in order to bypass the Sirens. "took these men back weeping, by force...put them aboard...tied them there fast" (9.98-99)

There are not only thematic similarities but also plot repetitions between the Sirens and Lotus-eaters episodes. Yet, one main difference is evident. Here Odysseus does not receive advice from anyone, rather he passes the challenge through wit and luck. Though Odysseus managed to avoid being tied into the web of the Sirens and the Lotus-eaters, he loses much time with both Calypso and Circe. Circe also draws men in with her songs, but it is her herbs, not the voice, that causes forgetfulness and turns them into beasts. "Singing with a sweet voice...into the mixture malignant drugs, to make them forgetful of their own country." (10.221, 235-236) Once again it is advice, this time from Hermes, that allows Odysseus to save his men. "I will tell you all the malevolent guiles of Circe" (10.289) The recurrence of helpful stranger, like Circe with the Sirens, is a common plot theme throughout Odyssey. Though he manages to avoid becoming swine, still he succumbs to Circe's charms and resides on the island for a year. It is only the reminders of his men that bring to his mind the homecoming. "It is time to think about our own country." (10.472) Circe is the only one who manages
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