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Siren's Song

             After extensive analyses and comparison of the poems Odyssey and Siren Song, differences and similarities between the portrayals of the sirens are apparent. In Homer's Odyssey, sirens are described as creatures who sing a beautiful song to seduce and attract men. In Margaret Atwood's Siren Song, the siren is also illustrated as a singing creature with powerful seductions, however it also goes on to say that the life of a siren is not a pleasant one. A comparison between each poem's interpretation of sirens, can be examined through investigating the diction, tone, imagery, and finally through the point of view in which each poem is seen. The easiest way of approaching the comparison is by observing the diction first.
             The diction in these two poems is very different. Words used in the poem Odyssey are words which are more descriptive and focus more on detail, they tell a story and therefore do not conceal an ambiguous meaning. The diction used for the sirens contains ample detail about their song, about how they sing, and why they sing. In contrast, diction used in Siren Song is less literal and more connotations are implied, this forces the reader to explore the concealed meaning behind each word. Atwood's speaker has a siren's perspective; therefore expresses less detailed descriptions of the sirens. Instead, the siren speaking uses her seductive powers to get her point across, and doesn't use specific words to describe characteristics. Homer's poem is filled with adjectives, providing detail, which strike the senses and allow the reader to feel involved in the situation. Words such as "burning", "lashed", "shout", "burst", "thrilling", "ravishing" and "throbbed" are used to make the scene more dramatic and excite the senses, making the reader feel more involved and influenced. Margaret Atwood uses more of a thematic type of poem to express herself. The words she chose have more connotative meanings, forcing the reader to look at each word individually instead of reading the poem by the sentence.

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