Circe in popular culture

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The Greek mythology character Circe has appeared many times in the 20th and 21st century popular culture, either under her own name or as a sorceress with similar powers under others. Post-Classical amplifications and reinterpretations of that story and others involving her are dealt with in the article on Circe in the arts. The instances mentioned here are more recent allusions and adaptations.

  • In John Myers Myers's 1949 novel Silverlock, Circe turns the main character into a pig due to his proclivity for food and fornication.[1]
  • Although Julio Cortazar titled one of his short stories "Circe" (1951), its main theme is about perverse sexual gratification in a repressed Catholic environment. Delia Mañara is notorious in her quarter of Buenos Aires for the mysterious deaths of two of her fiancés. She lives in a twilight world and gains most satisfaction through the exercise of power over others. It emerges that she killed the two men by poisoning them with the sweets she makes; when this fails with her third fiancé, he is freed from her fatal attraction by the knowledge.[2] In 1964 it was made into a film in Argentina with Graciela Borges as Delia.
  • Circe appeared disguised as "Mrs. Cissy Hawk" ("hawk" being the English version of "Circe"[3]) in the episode "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk" on the show Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff.[4] The episode was based on the short story "Mrs. Hawk" by Margaret St. Clair, originally published in the July 1950, Weird Tales.[5]
  • Indian author Nirad C. Chaudhuri named his 1965 book of essays The Continent of Circe, using the Greek mythological character as a metaphor for his interpretation of India's history.[citation needed]
  • In the 1983 film Hercules, Circe is played by Mirella D'Angelo and appears first as an old woman. Transformed by drinking the hero's blood, she helps him when he is attacked by the robots that stand in for monsters in this 'updated' version, but for selfish reasons of her own.[6]
  • Track 8 from Danzig's 2010 album Deth Red Sabaoth, "Night Star Hel", features reference to Circe in the lyrics.[7]
  • In Rick Riordan's novel The Sea of Monsters Circe runs an island health spa and turns Percy Jackson into a guinea pig (she says that they are "much more convenient" than real pigs), and his friend Annabeth Chase uses magical multivitamins (the equivalent of moly) to restore Percy to his true form. It is revealed she turned Blackbeard and some of his crew into Guinea pigs, and once they turn back they wreck the place.
  • Circe appears in the sixth and twelfth episodes of the BBC One 2013 drama series Atlantis.[8]
  • In the Greek mythological series God of War, Circe appears in the graphic novel titled Rise of the Warrior, which is a prequel story to the 2013 video game, God of War: Ascension.[citation needed]
  • Circe appeared in the cartoon Ulysses 31 where she attempted to build a tower that would house all the knowledge of the universe, thus making her more powerful than the gods.[citation needed]
  • In DC Universe, Circe is a constant and deadly foe of Wonder Woman and is in league with the witchcraft goddess Hecate; in Marvel Comics, the immortal Eternal superheroine Sersi, created by Jack Kirby, is based on Circe, transforming Odysseus's men into pigs not out of malice, but because they were misbehaving at one of her parties.[citation needed]
  • Circe is depicted in one episode of Hercules: The Animated Series (voiced by Idina Menzel) as a beautiful voluptuous woman with long black hair, wearing a red mermaid style chiton dress and holding a dragon-headed magic staff in her hand, searching for "one good man" and picks Hercules' best friend Icarus. When she tires of his foolish behavior she turns him into a platypus, later, Hercules into a lemur and then Prince Adonis into a peacock.[citation needed]
  • In an episode of the Disney cartoon series DuckTales, titled "Home, Sweet Homer", Circe (voiced by Tress MacNeille) appears as an anthropomorphic pig with a pet black cat. She attempts to send Homer forward in time, but her cat interrupts the spell, and instead Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey and Louie are brought back in time to ancient Greece. She eventually succeeds in turning Queen Ariel, Homer, and Scrooge into pigs, but is later foiled when Huey shatters her medallion; this not only reverses all the spells she has cast--causing everyone she has transformed to revert back to their normal selves--but she herself is turned into an ordinary (i.e., non-anthropomorphic) pig.[citation needed]
  • In the highly popular yet open-ended animated show, Generator Rex, Circe is a minor supporting character, who is the romantic interest and girlfriend of the titular character, Rex Salazar. Like her lover, she is one of the few E.V.O.s who appear fully human, and has full control over her strong sound-controlling abilities.[citation needed]
  • Circe is one of the summonable servant that appears in the popular mobile game, Fate/Grand Order. She can be summoned after the release of the Salem story chapter.


  1. ^ Eller, Eric. "John Myers Myers, Silverlock (Ace Books, 2005)". Green Man Review. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ The mythical correspondences are explored by Sophie Dufays in Circé de Cortázar : au carrefour du mythe et du fantastique, Folia Electronica Classica, B Louvain-la-Neuve 2007, Numéro 13
  3. ^ Yarnall, Judith (1994). Transformations of Circe: The History of an Enchantress. University of Illinois. p. 28. ISBN 0-252-02063-4. 
  4. ^ Monstergirl (November 24, 2011). "Boris Karloff's Thriller The Remarkable Mrs Hawk: A Modern Re-telling of Homer's Odyssey, Circean Poison with a Side of Bacon". The Last DriveIn. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ Warren, Alan (1996). This Is a Thriller: An Episode Guide, History and Analysis of the Classic 1960s Television Series. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-7864-1969-5. 
  6. ^ "Hercules (1983)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Danzig, Glenn. "Danzig, Night Star Hel (Evilive Music)". Evilive. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ Media Centre (October 2013). "Atlantis". BBC One. Retrieved October 30, 2013.