Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #19

(Odysseus:) "So she spoke to them, and the rest gave voice, and called her and at once she opened the shining doors, and came out, and invited them in, and all in their innocence entered; only Eurylochos waited outside, for he suspected treachery. She brought them inside and seated them on chairs and benches, and mixed them a potion, with barley and cheese and pale honey added to Pramneian wine, but put into the mixture malignant drugs, to make them forgetful of their own country. When she had given them this and they had drunk it down, next thing she struck them with her wand and drove them into her pig pens, and they took on the look of pigs, with the heads and voices and bristles of pigs, but the minds within them stayed as they had been before.' (10.229-241)

Here, Odysseus is telling the Phaiakians about Circe's trick. We don't like to blame the victim, but we have to say: given the way that strange women usually behave in this tale, eating her food is kind of a boneheaded move.

Quote #20

So speaking the goddess scattered the mist, and the land was visible. Long-suffering great Odysseus was gladdened then, rejoicing in the sight of his country, and kissed the grain-giving ground […]. (13.352-354)

Athene was actually hindering Odysseus’s ability to see clearly – by disguising him in the cloud of mist, she blocks his ability to perceive accurately.

Quote #21

(Athene:) ‘But come now, let me make you so that no mortal can recognize you. For I will wither the handsome flesh that is on your flexible limbs, and ruin the brown hair on your head, and about you put on such a clout of cloth any man will loathe when he sees you wearing it; I will dim those eyes, that have been so handsome, so you will be unprepossessing to all the suitors and your wife and child, those whom you left behind in your palace.’ (13.396-403)

Odysseus’s disguise as a beggar is much like Athene’s former disguise as a mortal; by dressing below their stations, these two are able to test the integrity of those they deceive.

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