The Odyssey Allusion

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Register to read the introduction… The first of these is seen when Henry alludes to the Odyssey, “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.” The reason he uses this allusion is to show that if the people of the convention do not ‘open their eyes’ to the impending conflict with the British, they will have to face the terrible consequences just as the sailors in the Odyssey did by listening to the siren’s song and ultimately sailing to their deaths or getting turned into pigs by the evil sorceress Circe. Later he goes on to say, “Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things with which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?” Here he is probably echoing Jeremiah 5:21- “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” Just as Jeremiah is calling his people foolish, Henry is calling the people who wish to ignore the obvious problems with the British fools. …show more content…
Thus it can be seen that the use of these allusions, along with the others throughout his speech not mentioned in this paper, and their emotional appeal all link into Henry’s lean toward demagoguery and

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