Monster Monday – Sirens

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had life going on. This week’s Monster Monday isn’t so much a monster and a mythical creature. Although, I would argue that they could be monsters because only Odysseus and his small crew survived the sight of them.

Oh, Odysseus, you arrogant cheat, you.


Origin: Greek mythology. Depending on who you are reading, the stories of the sirens changes. To Ovid, the Sirens were given wings by Demeter to aid in the search of Persephone when she was abducted. The Fabulae of Hyginus shows that Demeter cursed the Sirens with wings for not intervening in Persephone’s abduction. However, no matter what story you read, these beautiful creatures live on small islands surrounding by lethal cliffs and rocks and they sing to a sailor’s heart so that he may draw close and drown. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus orders his men to tie him to the mast and plug their own ears with beeswax. He wanted to boast that he was the only man to have ever heard their call and survive the attack, and, obviously, he didn’t want his crew to hear and kill them all. If I remember right, some of them didn’t do a very good job and jumped into the water anyways. If you haven’t read Homer’s Odyssey, I highly recommend that you do.
Appearance: Sirens are not mermaids, though many depictions through paintings and the word will combine them, not that I’m complaining. The Sirens are a combination of woman and bird. Most paintings show them as women only, but the earliest editions show them as half bird, half woman. There are usually only two or three of them as well, so good luck randomly running into one.
I chose Sirens this week because it seems like they exist only to kill. They don’t search for love or peace or happiness. They kill. I love them.
In my imagination, they are curvy, naked women with voices of velvet. They are able to swim through water as slick as an otter and change into birds at will. They torment men by becoming half breeds; sharp lips, piercing black eyes, feathered hair, enormous wings, and clawed feet and hands. They shred the skin from the limbs of men, peck their eyes out, and rip out their tongues as they scream.
If you want to watch/read more on the Sirens, you have plenty of options. The Odyssey by Homer. Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius. The Silence of the Sirens by Franz Kafka. Metamorphoses V by Ovid. Anywhere on the internet. And I swear they made an appearance in the cartoon movie Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. (I love that movie).
Come back tomorrow for a short piece on Sirens. (I haven’t written it yet so I don’t know how long it’s going to be).

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