Study Guide

Glaucus and Scylla Setting

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An Untouched Meadow

When Glaucus lays some dead fish down in an untouched meadow of super green grass, the fish surprise the carp (pun intended) out of him by coming to life and flipping into the sea. The fisherman suddenly realizes that this is no ordinary meadow he's stumbled upon. After Glaucus eats some of the greenery, he transforms into an immortal sea god, and he feels an irresistible longing to jump into the water. It's interesting that such a beautiful piece of land ends up being Glaucus' gateway to a life under the ocean's waves.

The Sea

Everything and everybody in this story centers around the sea. Glaucus is a sea god and spends most of his life under the water. Scylla is a sea nymph and loves to swim in ocean pools and bask on sunny beaches. Circe is a sea witch and always hangs out on her mystical island surrounded on all sides by water. One of the things that each character shares is their love of the water. All the magical events that go down in this tale seem to reflect our continual fascination with the mystical sea.

Circe's Island

We just want to take a second to zoom in on Circe's mystical island, where Glaucus goes to pick up his ill-fated love potion. The name of the island is Aeaea (say that three times fast). Glaucus is far from the only person to ever land on this island, and have their lives thrown for a loop by Circe. One famous visitor is Odysseus who ends up getting trapped there for a while by the wily sea witch. We hear about it in Homer's Odyssey, in which Circe's island is described in more detail. In this famous epic poem, we hear all about Circe's fabulous mansion, which is surrounded by packs of lions and other animals, who are really men she's transformed. The Argonauts make a pit stop on Circe's island as well, where the sea witch cleanses Jason and Medea of the murder of Medea's brother.

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