Transformations of Circe: The History of an Enchantress

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University of Illinois Press, 1994 - 245 pages
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Beginning with a detailed study of Homer's balance of negative and positive elements in the Circe-Odysseus myth, Judith Yarnall employs text and illustrations to demonstrate how Homer's Circe is connected with age-old traditions of goddess worship. She then examines how the image of a one-sided "witch," who first appeared in the commentary of Homer's allegorical interpreters, proved remarkably persistent, influencing Virgil and Ovid. Yarnall concludes with a discussion of work by Margaret Atwood and Eudora Welty in which the enchantress at last speaks in her own voice: that of a woman isolated by, but unashamed of, her power.
 

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Transformations of Circe: the history of an enchantress

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The ancient goddess Circe is best remembered as the enchantress who tempted the mighty Odysseus and turned some of his unfortunate crew into swine in Homer's Odyssey . In this work, Yarnall ... Read full review

Contents

Homers Story
9
Where Did Circe Come From?
26
From Myth to Allegory
53
The Legacy of Allegory
79
Renaissance Circes
99
Spenser the Witch and the Goddesses
127
The Lovelorn Temptress
145
Whore and Femme Fatale
163
Her Voice
182
Transformations
194
Notes
201
Bibliography
223
Index
239
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