The Odyssey

The Sirens

Fortunately Circe had warned Odysseus about the Sirens, beautiful nymphs who lured sailors in by singing to them. Once they were in close enough, they would snatch them and feed on their flesh. Because he knew about this, he got beeswax from Circe and cut it up into small pieces. He gave two pieces to each of his men, instructing them to put them in their ears, firmly, so they wouldn't hear the Sirens' songs. But Odysseus, wanting to hear the Sirens sing, without falling under the spell it casted, had his crew tie him tightly to the mast with many heavy ropes. He demanded that they not let him go no matter how much he wanted them to. After he was secured to the mast and the beeswax was in the men's ears, they continued rowing. Once the Sirens saw the ship, they started singing to it. They saw that Odysseus was tied to the mast, so they directed a lot of their songs towards him, promising him knowledge and secrets of the world. Odysseus screamed for his men to let him go and struggled to free himself, but he couldn't escape. Two of his men got up and came towards him, and he thought they were going to let him go, but they just tied him tighter, for they couldn't hear the Sirens or Odysseus' pleading cries. The crew kept rowing, and finally they were past the Sirens, and the crew removed the beeswax from their ears and unbound Odysseus from the mast.