"Epic Poets explore the complex nature of relationships between males and females".
Discuss this statement with reference to Odysseus" relationships with Circe, Calypso and Nausicaa in Homer's The Odyssey.
Odysseus" aim in Homer's The Odyssey is to return to Ithaca following his exploits at Troy and once again see his wife, Penelope. However, he becomes distracted from this goal at several points along his journey by three women, each more beautiful than his wife and having a definite romantic interest in him. His relationships with the divine Circe and Calypso, followed by the goddess-like Nausicaa are varied in terms of both circumstance and intensity. Through Odysseus" different experiences, Homer expresses his views regarding the complex nature of relationships between men and women.
The first woman Odysseus meets on his journey home is the beautiful, talented, bewitching Nymph, Circe. Initially, Odysseus initially, has no desire for a relationship with her. When they first meet he is, with advice from Hermes, attempting to free his men whom she has turned into pigs. With this divine aid, Circe's potion has no effect on him at which she displays admiration, "You must have a heart in your breast that is proof against all enchantment. I am sure you are Odysseus, that resourceful man" (Od. 10: 329-330). When Circe realises his powers are above those of an average mortal, their romantic relationship begins, "Put up your sword and come with me to my bed, so that in making love we may learn to trust one another" (Od. 10: 334-336). Odysseus is persuaded to share Circe's bed after she gives her oath that she will not harm him (Od. 10: 383-386) with no apparent concern for the fidelity he owes his wife. Odysseus" satisfaction at this arrangement is safely assumed due to the length of time he spends on Aeaea. It is eventually his crew who suggest that they leave, "What possesses you to stay on here? It's time you thought of Ithaca" (Od.