Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
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How did Odysseus make sure he wouldn't be tempted by the sirens' song?

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This is one of the most famous things that happens in the Odyssey.

The sirens are these creatures whose song is so tempting that men cannot help themselves when they hear it.  They will go to the sirens and they will die.

So what Odysseus does is he makes sure...

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This is one of the most famous things that happens in the Odyssey.

The sirens are these creatures whose song is so tempting that men cannot help themselves when they hear it.  They will go to the sirens and they will die.

So what Odysseus does is he makes sure that his men cannot hear the sirens' song.  He plugs up their ears with wax.  Before he does that, he tells them to tie him to the mast and not to untie him no matter what he does.  He needs to be able to hear the sirens so that he can let the men know when it is safe.

So Odysseus is tempted.  He just can't do anything about it because he is tied to the mast.

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