Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Ryan D. Perry
Donna Beth Ellard
Circe, Isolation, Nature, Sexuality, Where the Crawdads Sing, Witch
In mid-20th century Anglo-American translations of The Odyssey, Odysseus is painted as a courageous, clever king while the briefly-featured Circe is portrayed as a temptress witch. This dichotomy changes, however, by the time these characters are featured in early 21st-century adaptations of Homer’s work; both released in 2018, Madeline Miller’s Circe and Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing reclaim Circe’s depiction by portraying a Circe-like character as a powerful protagonist, aware of her strengths and weaknesses. By analyzing the archetype of the witch and how it is reflective of patriarchal society’s efforts to reduce and isolate women’s power, I argue that the Anglo-American literary tradition of The Odyssey demonizes powerful women by portraying Circe as a witch to be feared. In contrast, Miller’s and Owens’s works offer an alternative Circe, one who is as a powerful woman, able to form relationships and gain knowledge outside the bounds of male-dominated society.
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Received from ProQuest
Conroy, Caroline, "A Shift in Perspective: Temptress Witch to Realistic Woman" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2039.