Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ad Fontes Script for Ulysses and the Siren

Text: During Alonso’s quest to go back to the sources of his favorite Renaissance literature, he’s sailing out on the Aegean Sea while reading one of Samuel Daniel’s poems. He’s nearing the shore of an island when he hears a voice say:
Come, worthy man, Alonso, come,
Possess these shores with me;
The winds and seas are troublesome,
And here we may be free.

Looking around, Alonso sees no one.
Pop up: Click here to discover who is speaking to Alonso.
Alonso cries out “Who’s there?!” then he hears:
Oh cease thy course, and listen to our lay!
Blest is the man ordain'd our voice to hear,
The song instructs the soul, and charms the ear.
Approach! thy soul shall into raptures rise!
Approach! and learn new wisdom from the wise! 
"'Come here,' they sang, 'renowned Ulysses, honour to the Achaean name, and listen to our two voices. No one ever sailed past us without staying to hear the enchanting sweetness of our song- and he who listens will go on his way not only charmed, but wiser, for we know all the ills that the gods laid upon the Argives and Trojans before Troy, and can tell you everything that is going to happen over the whole world.' (

Alonso , still stumped at who might be speaking to him, again asks:
“Who is there?”
He sits silently, waiting for a reply. When at last he makes the connection. Just last week he had been reading Book XII of the Greek epic Odyssey written by Homer.
“Siren!” Alonso cries “I know it’s you!”
Again she entreats him to come to shore. But Alonso remembers the fate of those who listen to sirens and sea nymphs, and he turns to Samuel Daniel’s poem.
Text Search: Read here to choose how you think Alonso should reply.
The student picks an answer.  “No way, Nymph!”
But it’s fun! She replies
“But honor requires hard work and labor!”

Quiz: Q. what does the siren do?

  1. She gives up.

He had found it! He was back to the source Samuel Daniel had used when writing his poem! Thanks for helping Alonso solve the case and return to the sources. You’re on your way to earning an Ad Fontes badge!

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