From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Symbol Analysis

With all of this talk about what is real and what is an illusion, magic features largely. Circe argues that she uses her magic to expose the truth (i.e. make men who act like pigs literally look like pigs). Circe's power (title alert!) is her ability to practice magic, but there are times in this poem when her magic doesn't seem to work, and when she relies instead on words.

  • Line 23: "Hold" is a pun. In this moment, "hold" means both to literally hold someone in your arms and to figuratively keep them prisoner.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...