The Odyssey

Odysseus seems to have a knack for bedding goddesses. But what’s the major difference between his partnering with Kirke (or Circe) and his partnering with Kalypso?

whats the difference between circe and kalypso?

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For the time and place, two affairs in twenty years away from home were a pretty clean record! Especially when you consider that Calypso somehow compelled him and he spent all his time away from her looking toward home and weeping. As for Circe, she evidently had the quality he especially admired in a woman--brains. (In fact, in the old Kirk Douglas movie Ulysses, the director seems to have been making a statement by having Penelope and Circe played by the same actress.)

As for whether Calypso was feeling love or lust, to the ancients the difference between lust and the kind of love ones "falls" into was rather blurred. Think of Paris and Helen in the Iliad. In any case, Calypso wanted Odysseus to marry her and offered him immortality if he would, and he declined the offer. At one point Calypso even utters the age-old question of The Other Woman: "What does your wife have that I haven't?" I don't recall that Odysseus answers, but remember that later he tells Nausicaa that the best thing in the world is for a like-minded man and woman to make a home together.