In "The Odyssey," what kind of danger might Circe represent symbolically and how does she almost succeed?

Asked on by snowdogs4

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gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Circe represents two distinct but related threats to Odysseus and his men. The men she turns into animals, which is on the plot level a threat that they'll not be able to finish the voyage because they've given into their baser (animal) instincts. Odysseus she attempts to hold their through seduction. This too would keep him from completing his voyage, and would be a related danger. He would have given into the lure of the woman at hand, rather than staying true to his wife at home.

lorraine-luna's profile pic

lorraine-luna | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

I think the author used the character of Circe to impart to the readers one of the obstacles that might come a man's way in reaching his goal.  Circe may represent "lust".  According to the book, Circe was the most beautiful yet most dangerous witch in her time.  She used it to seduce men but she would turn them into swines.  Fortunately, Odysseus had overcome her plan because of the help of some gods.  Lust deceive men in that same way.  It would let men fall into its arms but then later, it would let them feel the very consequences of it. 

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