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In The Odyssey the Seirenes are sea nymphs with bird-like bodies who lure men to death with their song.
When a ship would sail within earshot of the Seirenes, they would sing a song that men found to be irresistible. Invariably the men would approach the Seirenes and meet with death.
Odysseus did not actually face the Seirenes alone, he had his crew with him. On his travels over the sea, knew that he would be sailing past the Seirenes. He was so curious about the nature of their song that he decided to work out a plan by which he could hear the song and still survive. He had his men lash his body to the mast so tightly that he could not escape. Then his men placed wax in their ears so that they would not hear the Seirenes sing.
The plan worked. Odysseus, as heroic and larger-than-life as he was, still tried to escape his bonds and go to the Seirenes when he heard their song.
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