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4 The Nature of Women Portrayed by Circe and Calypso In Homers composition The Odyssey the roles women play are very significant The best examples of the true nature of women occur when Odysseus encounters Circe and Calypso These two characters illustrate the thoughts and feelings of how women how a woman feels and how they think As the quote states Circe and Calypso illustrate how women really can be crafty intelligent sneaky disloyal and cruel In contrast to battles with men Cyclops or animals sexual battles with women are sometimes much more difficult to win These two female characters are especially enticing to Odysseus because they are goddesses Though it is evident that Odysseus longs to return to Penelope in Ithaca it sometimes appears that he has lost vision of what life was like with a wife a son and with thousands of people who regard him as King Although his experiences on the islands of these goddesses were similar in that he was retained from Ithaca for the longest periods of his adventure these goddesses and the ways that Odysseus reacts to his experiences with them represent two very different aspects of Odysseus life and disposition in life When Odysseus and his men arrive on Circes island they are still in fairly good shape In Book X lines 194-196 Odysseus says I climbed to a rocky place of observation and looked at the island and the endless sea lies all in a circle around it I believe this illuminates a very important aspect in Circes tendencies She doesnt seem to want to cause any real harm to the men but wishes to encircle these men with her food wine and lust She seems to be obsessed with lust and material possessions and it is my belief that she represents all that is weak in women at least in Homers time In lines 294-296 Hermes is consulting Odysseus on how to avoid harm
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