Hi, I am writing an essay concerning the forms of persuasion in this speech and I was not sure what this one allusion mean. I know it is an allusion but I do not know what it is refering to. "We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts." Thank You
siren: any of a group of female and partly human creatures in Greek mythology that lured mariners to destruction by their singing.
As a whole the sentence is saying that when we don't want to face reality, we are willing to be led astray by something more pleasant, even if that is exactly what we should not do because it will turn out quite unpleasant after all.
Or shorter: If we don't want to see that we're being conned, we'll let ourselves be conned.
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
OH thank you so much thank you ...........Gob Bless You
well it's an allusion to Homer's Odyssey. The sirens; seductive songs lured sailors to their deaths. The goddess Circe lured men to her island and then magically transformed them into pigs. henry compares "the illusions of hope" to these dangerous mythical creatures.
It is actually referring to Circe (in the Odyssey), who turns men into beasts after charming them with her singing. She turns Homers crew into wild animals in the story....
It is an allusion to the Odysee. The sirens lured Odusius and his men with their singing - only to turn them into pigs once they had captivated them. Its is basically saying that the British are luring them in with all of these false hopes and promises that will not and have not been made.
We have discussed this at length in the English Class I am observing and we have concluded that he messed up. The reference is a jumble of Circe (who turns men into animals) and the Sirens (who lure men to dash themselves on the rocks). He likely mixed his metaphor a little.