Date of Award
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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Conroy, Caroline, "A Shift in Perspective: Temptress Witch to Realistic Woman" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2039.
Received from ProQuest