The Odyssey is an epic about a Greek warrior in the Trojan War whose wanderings around his known world and his perilous encounters are the basis of the story. Odysseus' absence from his home is prolonged by the influences of the women whom he encounters.
In this epic, several female characters had a profound effect on the plot. They wielded their influence through typically feminine skills and attributes: seduction, supernatural powers, intelligence, and beauty. Some of the women of The Odyssey influenced the actions of men, playing key roles in the epics, such as Calypso, the Sirens, Helen, or Circe; all of these women were responsible for the actions of the men.
In The Odyssey, the females who direct or influence the actions of men are Athena, Circe, Calypso, Penelope, the Sirens, and Scylla and Charybdis. Athena uses her intellect more and plans the adventures of Telemachus and Odysseus, disguising herself and telling Telemachus to go "to Sparta and to sandy Pylos to seek tidings of his dear father's return..."
She sends Odysseus off from Ogygia, setting the stage for Odysseus to return home simultaneously with Telemachus. If Athena had not interfered, Odysseus could have stayed at Calypso's island for eternity, and Telemachus could have been slain by the suitors. Hence, Athena directs the actions of Telemachus and Odysseus.
Circe directs the actions of men mainly through her "dire divine beauty...", although she has the powers that all demi-goddesses have. When Odysseus "rushed on Circe as if intending to kill her..." after drinking the potion that protected him, Circe uses her beauty to change Odysseus' action .Instead of killing Circe, Odysseus sleeps with her and stays at her island for one year. If Circe had been a male, then she would have surely died without the availability of her magical...