He Who Hears the Siren’s Song

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“First she said we were to keep clear of the Sirens, who sit and sing most beautifully in a field of flowers; but she said I might hear them myself so long as no one else did. Therefore, take me and bind me to the crosspiece half way up the mast; bind me as I stand upright, with a bond so fast that I cannot possibly break away, and lash the rope’s ends to the mast itself. If I beg and pray you to set me free, then bind me more tightly still.” Homer, The Odyssey

The hero’s tale is a dark and dangerous path…or is it really so?

“These dark and dangerous women are the hero’s opponents and, unlike other females, they often play a major part in the story for they have broken out of the domestic sphere and are loose in the wilderness. They threaten the hero’s rationality, self-control and purpose. They try to divert him from his goal, tempting him to linger in sexual dalliance with them. Often, like the wicked witches in fairy tales and the beautiful spies who serve the enemy in the James Bond stories, they threaten his very life.” Margery Hourihan

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“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence. And though admittedly such a thing never happened, it is still conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.” Franz Kafka, The Silence of the Sirens