Nora Mulligan’s story “The Circe Test” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 14 July 2017.
I’ve been fascinated by Greek myths since I was a kid, reading D’Aulieres’ Greek Myths (and then later reading them to my daughter), and I’ve always been fascinated by Circe’s interaction with Odysseus. There was just something about the way she transformed men into pigs that appealed to me for some reason, and I always thought it wasn’t fair for Odysseus to cheat by getting help from Hermes to defeat her. I tried to imagine the story from her point of view: what was she really trying to do? I assumed she wasn’t just bad for the sake of being bad. She must have had something she was trying to accomplish. What if she were looking for the right man, and testing all the men? Once I thought of that, the whole story fell into place. Of course I know Odysseus was already married (to the long suffering Penelope) at the time he met Circe, and even if he passed her test, and she went with him back to Ithaca, there would have been some problems (not, perhaps, the same problems Agamemnon had with his wife when he returned from the war with a new woman), but my feeling is that Odysseus figured he could finagle his way out of that problem when it came up, and as it happened in my story (and in the myth), he never had to worry about that.
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