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Homer’s Oddessy and Gluck’s Circe’s Power

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  1. Introduction
  2. The greatest difference between Gluck's and Homer's poems
  3. Gluck's portrayal of Circe as a feminist
  4. Gluck's portrayal of Circe also as a critic of social norms
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

The Odyssey is filled with a large number of secondary characters that are, for the most part, very one-dimensional. Despite being very different in regards to themselves, as a whole they can be easily identified: they are briefly mentioned; they have limited dialogue; and they serve one of two functions: to either hinder or advance the journey. Furthermore, each character is described solely as they relate to Odysseus, and their motivations and drives revolve completely around Odysseus' journey. As a result, the reader knows nothing about these characters in so much as their contribution to the plot. However, with the passage of time, there have been writers who have sought to give life and voice to these often overlooked characters, and an opportunity to see the story through their eyes. One of such individuals is Louise Glück, whose poem, ?Circe's Power,? is a modern day interpretation of Odysseus' encounter with Circe. The greatest point of contrast between Glück's poem and Homer's is the nature of Circe's transmutation of Odysseus' men and her reason for doing it. While Homer portrays Circe as an evil sorceress who changes men into beasts for no apparent reason, Glück's Circe is much deeper. Glück transforms Circe into a feminist, a critic of social norms, and a powerful woman who seizes control and tries to correct the injustices she witnesses.

[...] The explanation is addressed to Odysseus himself, presumably on the eve of their parting, which can be seen by the continuous reference to ?your men.? Circe declares that never turned anyone into a and proceeds to explain that Odysseus' crewmates were already not in the physical sense but in the mental and emotional sense, and that she merely allowed for their appearance to match their mind set: ?Some people are pigs; I make them / look like pigs.? Furthermore, she makes the act seem charitable, that she was rehabilitating them: pigs /under the care of /me and my ladies, they /sweetened right and that she reversed the spell after her goal was achieved. [...]


[...] Homer's Oddessy and Gluck's Circe's Power The Odyssey is filled with a large number of secondary characters that are, for the most part, very one-dimensional. Despite being very different in regards to themselves, as a whole they can be easily identified: they are briefly mentioned; they have limited dialogue; and they serve one of two functions: to either hinder or advance the journey. Furthermore, each character is described solely as they relate to Odysseus, and their motivations and drives revolve completely around Odysseus' journey. [...]

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