“‘Circe’: A Delightful Tale and Even Better Narrative”

Madeline DeLuca

“‘Try’, I said … I tell you, for all my spells, that was the first time I truly felt myself a witch”. 


Madeline Miller’s “Circe” is a brilliant novel about the Greek goddess Circe, and her hardships as she searches to find herself in a world of unyielding powers. From her childhood, Circe has always been dismissed by her family, never truly knowing herself until the day she is exiled to Aiaia forever. 


Isolated on her eternal island, Circe discovers her mightiest power, her witchcraft.  


Miller shows readers the authentic Circe, not Homer’s crazed witch who turns every man she meets into pigs, but the selfless girl, the girl who never quite fit in, someone just trying to be true to herself. The novel follows Circe as she tries to find her place in the world of timeless gods and goddesses, as well as each encounter she makes with legendary heroes and heroines. 


One may think that another book about Greek mythology would just portray the same characters and stories as hundreds of books before it, but Miller’s “Circe” paints a whole new picture of the world, a whole new perspective of the Greek gods, and a new way to look at Greek mythology. Her writing flows naturally, leaving readers constantly wondering what happens next, forgetting that they have heard this tale time and time again. 


Those who cherish novels wherein the protagonist finds their true self and comes to terms with who he/she really is would truly enjoy reading “Circe”. It gives readers a perspective of the sorrows and trials Circe faces, and with each one, Miller captures how Circe gets stronger, and how she slowly but surely becomes herself. 


Many modern readers will be able to relate to Miller’s “Circe” as numerous people in today’s generation feel that they don’t fit in and they never will. After reading “Circe” and seeing Circe struggle to fit in, one can see how she lost the need to fit in; she accepted herself and that was enough. If people take the time to realize that they are satisfactory, that they shouldn’t change who they are, they will be able to see that they have the strength to accept themselves, just as Circe did. 


With the help of Madeline Miller, readers can finally see the true Circe, the goddess who finds herself in her witchcraft as well in the heroes she helps. With each passing day, Circe becomes more confident with herself until the final day when she makes her decision to change forever.