Canal March

Mermaids: Seduction and Metamorphosis

Carlos García Gual

Mythical figures of seduction, sirens have led those sailors who dared to cross rock beds in which they dwell since Antiquity to perdition. Monstrous beings, half bird, half woman, appear in Homer’s texts to attract Ulysses and his companions with their songs and promises of glory. Yet during the Middle Ages they were represented as beautiful women with the body of a fish, the allegorical image of lust that would be maintained over the centuries, especially during the Romantic era. In the words of Carlos García Gual, “times change, but the charm of sirens has remained”.

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