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excerpt from The Odyssey and "Siren Song"

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Brooke Webb

on 24 September 2015

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Transcript of excerpt from The Odyssey and "Siren Song"

Warm Up
Organization of the Essay
Main Ideas In Effective Essays
Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"
Show students clip from
2012 SNL of modernized Sirens
*Brief Intro
*POV comparison of both texts
*Tone in both texts
*Poetic device in both texts
*Brief Intro
*The Odyssey
*Sirens Song
*Comparison Paragraph
Male vs Female
Sensory language
Siren song written to draw you in, like a sailor, dying to hear the song

Tone in The Odyssey excerpt: heroic

Tone in "Siren Song": seductive, numerous/bored,
deception, subtly alluring (like the sirens song)

Pity in both:
The Odyssey
excerpt- pity for the innocent sailors

In "Siren Song"-pity for the bored Siren who would be liking to do something else

Mythical allusions:

Art of seduction

AP Literature Poetry Practice Exam:
excerpt from The Odyssey and "Siren Song"

Kids Say the Darndest Things!
TV and Film
Good Examples
Don't Crash On the Rocks!
How To Get A 9!
These essays are ordered by a persuasive interpretation that forms an effective basis for comparing the Sirens. They recognize variations in perspective and approach that differentiate Atwood's contemporary treatment of the Sirens from Homer's ancient version of the temptresses, and their analysis is insightful and provocative. Although the writers of these essays may offer a range of interpretations and/or choose different poetic elements for emphasis, these papers provide convincing readings of both poems and maintain consistent control over the elements of effective composition, including the language appropriate to the criticism of verse. Their textual references are apt and specific. Though they may not be error-free, they demonstrate the writers' ability to read poetry perceptively and to write with clarity and sophistication.

By: Michele Pelletier and Brooke Webb
from "The Odyssey"
...our trim ship was speeding toward
the Sirens’ island, driven by the brisk wind.

Now with a sharp sword I sliced an ample wheel of beeswax
down into pieces, kneaded them in my two strong hands
and the wax soon grew soft, worked by my strength
and Helios’ burning rays, the sun at high noon,
and I stopped the ears of my comrades one by one.
They bound me hand and foot in the tight ship—
erect at the mast-block, lashed by ropes to the mast—
and rowed and churned the whitecaps stroke on stroke.
We were just offshore as far as a man’s shout can carry,
Scudding close, when the Sirens sensed at once a ship
Was racing past and burst into their high, thrilling song:
‘Come closer, famous Odysseus—Achaea’s pride and glory—
more your ship on our coast so you can hear our song!
Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft
Until he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips
and once he hears to his heart’s content sails on, wiser man.’

So they sent their ravishing voices out across the air
and the heart inside me throbbed to listen longer.
I signaled the crew with frowns to set me free—
they flung themselves as the oars and rowed on harder,
Perimedes and Eurylochus springing up at once
to bind me faster with rope of chafing rope.
But once we’d left the Sirens fading in our wake,
once we could hear the song no more, the urgent call—
my steadfast crew was quick to remove the wax I’d used
to seal their ears and loosed the bond that lashed me.

*Brief Intro
*POV comparison of both texts
*Tone in both texts
*Poetic device in both texts
*Brief Intro
*The Odyssey
*Sirens Song
*Comparison Paragraph
"Siren Song" by Margaret Atwood
This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.
Students will be asked to
Think, Pair, Share...

*What is A Femme Fatale?
*What are the characteristics of F emme Fatale?
*Which characters do you know from tv, movies, or literature that are Femme Fatales?
Agree or Disagree?

Hold up your cards to show you opinion of the following statements based on the SNL clip:
-This clip was a parody.
-The Sirens purpose in this clip is to lure and murder the men.
-Odysseus is shown as a misogynist.
-These Sirens are Femme Fatales.

Aesop's The Fox and the Crow --beware of flatterers
Spenser's The Faerie Queene--Acrasia is a femme fatale
Homer's Witch Circe
Full transcript