Date of Award

2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Ryan D. Perry

Second Advisor

Hava Gordon

Third Advisor

Donna Beth Ellard

Keywords

Circe, Isolation, Nature, Sexuality, Where the Crawdads Sing, Witch

Abstract

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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Caroline Conroy

File size

66 pgs

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Literature

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