The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey book cover
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What role does Circe play in The Odyssey?

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In The Odyssey, Circe is a sorceress. Odysseus and his men find their way to an island after fleeing from the Laestrygonians, a cannibalistic tribe. At first, they think the island is uninhabited, but then they discover that there is a beautiful woman, Circe, living in a hut on the island. At first, Circe enchants Odysseus's men and turns them all into pigs, but when Odysseus threatens her, Circe agrees to undo the enchantments out of respect for Odysseus. For a year, Odysseus and his men stay on the island with Circe.

Eventually, Odysseus decides that he and his crew must leave for Ithaca. Circe isn't especially happy about this—she is in love with Odysseus and doesn't want to lose him—but she also wants to prevent Odysseus from harming himself. To an extent, she prefigures Calypso, the nymph with whom Odysseus later spends time. Neither of them want to let Odysseus go; the difference is that Circe actually does let Odysseus go and also tells him how best to proceed to the next stage...

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