In "The Odyssey", what does Odysseus have his men do to him, and why?The Sirens

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus has his men tie him securely to the mast pole on his ship so that he will be able to hear the song of the Sirens but not succumb to their allure.

Odysseus in his quest must pass the abode of the Sirens, whose mesmerizing song lures all men who hear it to come to the island, where they cannot help but listen until they die.  Circe instructs Odysseus to stop the ears of his crewmen with wax so they will not hear the deadly music, but, knowing that he himself would like to hear the song, instructs him to have his men tie him to the pole so that he will not be able to submit to the Sirens' call and go to the island to his demise.  As they pass the treacherous area, Odysseus, entranced, begs his men to release him so that he can join the women who sing so enticingly and promise infinite knowledge to all who join them, but Odysseus's men only bind him tighter to the mast (Book 12).