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The Legend Of Circe Essay

1089 words - 5 pages

Circe was a Greek goddess and enchantress (Circe). She was known for her lovely braids and sweet swinging voice; she also happened to be the symbol of temptation, ungovernability, and over-indulgence (Warner). In addition, she is identified with exemplary apostate among the gods and goddesses of the Greek belief system (Warner). This contradicting combination has made itself evident in many of the stories about Circe. As a matter of fact, what is Circe’s legend?
Circe enjoys perpetual youth, which is what led to the idea that her palace housed the eternally famous “Fountain of Youth” (Warner). In addition to housing this famous fountain, Circe’s palace was considered to be “the ...view middle of the document...

Near the shore, they stopped to rest. Odysseus’s crew began to walk the island while Odysseus stayed on the ship. Circe found the men as they were searching for supplies and invited them into her palace. She prepared a feast for them, and they ate their fill. Little did they know that the wine they drank was drugged (Tales of Circe). This drug that Circe had created would cause them to lose memory of their homeland and fall into a deep sleep (Warner).
Once the men fell asleep, Circe used her wand and magic to transform Odysseus’s men into swine (Circe). EupuXoxos, one of Odysseus’s men, had refused to come into Circe’s palace. He watched Circe turn his friends into pigs and rushed back to the ship to tell Odysseus (Smith 270). On his way to Circe’s palace, Hermes came to Odysseus with specific instructions. Hermes gave Odysseus moly to hide underneath his coat (York). This was a white flower with a black root that only the Olympians could grow (Tales of Circe). Hermes gave Odysseus the specific instructions to refuse any advance from Circe until she returned his men to human form and exacted a binding promise to ensure his own safety (Denault).
Circe welcomed Odysseus into her palace without any knowledge of the moly in his coat. She left Odysseus alone to the feast, which he did not eat, until he pretended to fall asleep. When Circe failed to turn him into swine as well, he unsheathed his sword against her. Realizing that he was resistant to her magic, Circe begged for her life (Mangum). They eventually agreed that Circe’s life would be spared if Odysseus would be proclaimed co-ruler of Aeaea and would share a bed with Circe (Tales of Circe).
Circe tried to seduce Odysseus that night, but he refused, following Hermes’s instructions (York). Circe lifted the curse on everyone she had transformed into a beast, including those who took care of her (“Circe (Diana/Artemis/Medusa/Isis)”). Some of Odysseus’s men were angry because they believed they had achieved enlightenment in becoming a pig, but they were changed backed into humanoid form anyway (Warner). One curious detail was that every person who returned to human form looked younger, more handsome, and taller than...

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