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Visual aids: Return From Troy, Episode 5

  • Odysseus and the sorceress Circe
    Based on an Attic archaic kylix (cup) attributed to the Polyphemus Boston painter, c. 550-525 BC, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Odysseus (far right) approaches the sorceress Circe with his sword drawn and wearing a cloak. Circe stirs the contents of a cup she has just taken from the man facing her, who is in the process of being transformed, and has the head and neck of a boar. A dog sits on the ground between Circe and the transforming man, looking toward the sorceress. Others of Odysseus’ companions surround Circe, each partially transformed.

    Suggested activities
    Part of this vase is missing so the drawings of some characters are incomplete. Ask them to speculate as to what the missing part of the drawings might show. They can draw in their ideas but should use a distinctly different colour to show that their drawing is not the authentic version. We cannot be sure of what is missing, so we must make it clear that this is only a suggestion.

    >> Back to other teaching resources for this episode