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Circe's Power

Circe's Power

by Louise Glück

Lies and Deceit Theme

Circe has been remembered for generations as the sorceress who turned Odysseus' men into pigs. In "Circe's Power," we see her tackle that accusation and set the record straight. She wants to tell the truth. She delivers a scathing critique of humans and of the world they live in, believing that theirs is a world in which appearances are valued more than truth. She accuses the world of loving lies more than truth.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What do you think Circe means when she says, "I'm sick of your world/ That lets the outside disguise the inside" (4-5). Do you live in a world that lets the outside disguise the inside?
  2. When Circe says, "I never turned anyone into a pig," (1) is she lying?
  3. What do you think Circe means when she says, "nobody sees essence who can't/ Face limitation" (21-22). What is "essence" and what is "limitation?"
  4. Does Circe ever lie in this poem?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Circe disguises her inside, her true feelings, in this poem.

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