How can romantic attraction be a trap in The Odyssey?  

Expert Answers
samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus frequently suffers from the trap of romantic attraction. The best example of this is his encounter with the goddess Circe. After Circe uses magic to turn Odysseus' men into swine, he confronts her. When her magic does not work (Hermes gave him an herbal antidote), she attempts to use her beauty to take Odysseus to bed, where she intends to steal his manhood. Under advice from Hermes, Odysseus turns the tables by forcing Circe to swear by the gods she will not take his manhood. However, Odysseus still goes to bed with her, and he quickly forgets his quest to return home. Ultimately, he spends a year at Circe's house before he finally continues on his journey.

Another example you should consider is Calypso's attraction to Odysseus. After Odysseus floats to her island following a shipwreck, the beautiful goddess falls in love with him and refuses to let him leave. Due to her attraction, Odysseus was unable to leave her island for seven years.