úterý 22. ledna 2013

Only testing 3

Beautiful Yet Dangerous Mythical Creatures

Lines 1-20
in The Odyssey
of Homer

"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds, many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea, fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home. But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove--the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all, the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sun and the Sungod blotted out the day of their return. Launch out on his story, Muse, daughter of Zeus, start from where you will--sing for our time too. By now,all the survivors, all who avoided headlong death were safe at home, escaped the wars and waves.But one man alone . . .his heart set on his wife and his return--Calypso, the bewitching nymph, the lustrous goddess, held him back, deep in her arching caverns, craving him for a husband


Seductive Sirens

Sirens are mythological creatures originating in Greece. The sirens were once thought to have been considered deities at some point, but may have fallen from their position amongst the Greek gods. Sirens are known to have lived on an Island off of the coast of Greece, or possibly Italy, and they produced such a beautifully seductive song that they would lure weary sailors into dangerous waters and onto jagged rocks...inevitably causing the sailors' untimely deaths. In the older writings, the sirens were said to have the head of a woman and the body of a bird. This belief in the sirens' appearance is demonstrated in the painting to the upper right.

  Some of the Greek mythology states that the Sirens were punished by the Goddess Demeter, after they were unable to find and rescue Demeter's kidnapped daughter, Persephone. The sirens were turned into half-bird creatures and banished to an uninhabited island in the Mediterranean. No one is sure exactly which island this is, or if it ever really existed.

 The main discrepancy in these sirens myths is how many Sirens there actually were...some say two, some say three, and others say up to five Sirens total lived on this island and lured men to meet their doom. The most famous of the sirens were Pisinoe, Aglaope and Thelxiepi...and they were said to be daughters of a river god named Achelous. Each of these particular sirens played a specific instrument...one played a lyre, another the harp and the third would sing the infamous, bewitching sirens' songs.

 Throughout mythological history, there has only been two tales in which lucky men have escaped their rocky deaths from the enchanting Sirens' songs. One of those sirens tales was that of Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus was smart enough to demand his men to stuff balls of wax into their ears while approaching and passing the Sirens' island; however, Odysseus was also a very adventurous man...and a man nonetheless, so he had himself tied to the mast in order to hear the Sirens' music. Why would he have to be tied down? Well, if the ship wasn't going to be sucked into the rocky waters of the Sirens' island, there were tales that men would dive off of their ships to get to the Sirens...still leading to their deaths by way of the sharp rocks off the coast of the island. Or maybe he liked that sort of thing...

Another one of the "escape the sirens" tales was that of Jason and the Argonauts. The mens' brush with death came very swiftly, but they were blessed enough to have a very talented and intelligent musician on board their ship...Orpheus. Orpheus bravely and effortlessly played an undulating song loud and beautifully enough that it drowned out the sounds of the Sirens' instruments of destruction.
If you are ever sailing the Mediterranean...you better be sure to take a loud soundsystem or some ear plugs.
Or if you do not have the time to read this epic story, check out the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou. George Clooney is the star of this Depression-era flick that is a loose take on Homer's Odyssey. The Sirens mentioned in Homer's tale make an appearance in this movie...and the Sirens' singing is almost breathtaking...although they have a very country-American vibe. Check out the clip with these Sirens below.
The Odyssey
is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer.

 It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second--the Iliad being the first--extant work of Western literature. It was probably composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia. The poem mainly centres on the Greek hero Odysseus

(or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage. It continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. Many scholars believe that the original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was more likely intended to be heard than read. The details of the ancient oral performance, and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a regionless poetic dialect of Greek and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter. Among the most impressive elements of the text are its non-linear plot, and the influence on events of choices made by women and serfs, besides the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage.


1 komentář:

  1. This is the rightful owner to the article that you stole word for word from me from Hubpages. Remove my content immediately or you will be reported to Google via a DMCA complaint. - KittytheDreamer


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