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How Does Circe Compare to Other Females Encountered by Odysseus?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By charlidela
Words 565
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Circe is the goddess of magic and the most similar female to her encountered by Odysseus is Calypso, a nymph. These two goddesses have both had affairs with Odysseus and are similar in that Circe is a beautiful goddess/witch and Calypso is a beautiful goddess/nymph but they contrast in their motives toward and treatment of Odysseus. After Odysseus (following Hermes' advice) initially conquers Circe, she does everything she can to help him. In addition to releasing the spell that turned his men into swine, she shows excellent xenia to Odysseus that his men must talk him into going on with the journey a full year later. Even then, Circe helps the Odysseus and his men with supplies and advice.
Calypso holds Odysseus captive for seven years in hopes of marrying him. When he resists and is saved by Hermes under orders from Zeus, Calypso offers him immortality if he will stay. When he declines her offer, Calypso leads Odysseus to believe that letting him go is her idea, "I am all compassion," she says.
Athena is a powerful goddess and is often appears in disguise and her intervention is essential to help Odysseus with his journey home. She is similar to Circe as they are both powerful independent goddesses and both help Odysseus get home. Athena intervenes just enough to encourage Odysseus but then she recedes into the background and allows him to make his own way. However, Athena lives on Mount Olympus as she is an important goddess and cannot be overpowered whereas Circe lives alone and has to be manipulating and use her magic just to have company.
Calypso, Circe and Athena are all important female characters and are similar because they are all goddesses. Both Circe and Calypso live alone on an island in addition to both sleeping with Odysseus. However, Circe is manipulating and malicious in a way that Calypso is not as Calypso is genuinely affectionate of Odysseus.…...

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