Odysseus and his men were heading home, and had to go by the island of the sirens. The Sirens were vicious creatures who looked like women. Their songs would entrance sailors to abandon their ship and head towards them, where the current would kill them.
But, the Siren's song was said to tell wisdom to those who listen, so Odysseus had his men tie him up after he put beeswax over their ears. He wanted to hear the song, but didn't want to drown.
Odysseus and his men went by and Odysseus struggled, but was kept tied up.
The men kept him tied up until they couldn't hear the Sirens anymore.
Finally Odysseus shared the knowledge with the men.
Odysseus and his men then sailed on, with knowing a great task was behind them, but only more lie ahead.