circe Quotes from Madeline Miller
“1. That is one thing gods and mortals share. When we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.” | Chapter 4, Madeline Miller, Circe
“2. For I was like any dull ass who has ever loved someone who loved another. I thought: if only she were gone, it would change everything.” | Chapter 5, Madeline Miller, Circe
3. “Sorcery cannot be taught. You find it yourself, or you do not.” | Chapter 6, Madeline Miller, Circe
4. “Too late, I thought. Too late for all the things I should have known. I had made so many mistakes that I could not find my way back through their tangle to the first one.” | Chapter 6, Madeline Miller, Circe
5. “That is what exile meant: no one was coming, no one ever would.” | Chapter 7, Madeline Miller, Circe
6. “I stepped into those woods and my life began.” | Chapter 7, Madeline Miller, Circe
7. “All this while, I have been a weaver without wool, a ship without the sea. Yet now look where I sail.” | Chapter 7, Madeline Miller, Circe
8. “This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.” | Chapter 27, Madeline Miller, Circe
9. “Of all the mortals on the earth, there are only a few the gods will ever hear of. Consider the practicalities. By the time we learn their names, they are dead. They must be meteors indeed to catch our attention. The merely good: you are dust to us.” | Chapter 9, Madeline Miller, Circe
10. “But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.” | Chapter 11, Madeline Miller, Circe
11. “I sang often in those days, for it was the best company I had.” | Chapter 14, Madeline Miller, Circe
12. “I held the thought in my hand. When that first crew had come, I had been a desperate thing, ready to fawn on anyone who smiled at me. Now I was a fell witch, proving my power with sty after sty.” | Chapter 16, Madeline Miller, Circe
13. “The world was made of mysteries, and I was only another riddle among the millions.” | Chapter 16, Madeline Miller, Circe
14. “Do not listen to your enemy, Odysseus had once told me. Look at them. It will tell you everything.” | Chapter 18, Madeline Miller, Circe
15. “Beneath my feet were the bones of a thousand years. I thought: I cannot bear this world a moment longer. Then, child, make another.” | Chapter 20, Madeline Miller, Circe
16. “those who fight against prophecy only draw it more tightly around their throats.” | Chapter 21, Madeline Miller, Circe
17. “But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.” | Chapter 21, Madeline Miller, Circe
18. “You see?” I said, when I was finished with the tale. “Gods are ugly things.” “We are not our blood,” he answered. “A witch once told me that.” | Chapter 26, Madeline Miller, Circe
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click them I could receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I finished reading Circe by Madeline Miller in one weekend.
After seeing all of the 5-Star ratings on Amazon, and taking into consideration it is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, I purchased the book with high hopes. I am happy to report it was $14.55 well spent.
I’ve always loved Greek Mythology. Mythology in general, actually. I remember reading The Iliad and The Odyssey when I was a teenager some particularly hot summer for no other reason than I found copies at a thrift store and was intrigued by those exotic yet familiar names –Achilles, Athena, Apollo, Hector, Helen…
Admittedly, getting through those classics was rough at times.
It’s easy to get bogged down in all the boasting and which god is fighting for which side, but throughout those stories, I felt a curiosity to know what would happen to those poor, warring mortals and how those meddling gods and goddesses would affect the outcome.
I would imagine myself in that world, wondering if a god or goddess would have singled me out as a particular favorite and which one might it have been? Is it better to choose everlasting fame (knowing that my life will be short) or to live in obscurity with the promise of a long and happy life? Could I live with being “No One” or am I like Odysseus and feel the need to shout my real name for all the world to hear, even though it might cost me something later?
I still wonder what the Sirens sound like and what must it feel like to sail a foreign sea and set foot on an unknown shore…
I haven’t thought of those questions or relived those feelings in years, but Madeline Miller’s Circe brought them all flooding back while adding even more to the list. I had never given much thought to the character of Circe, other than she seemed lonely and quick to change men to pigs.
Even though I knew Circe’s basic storyline, I found Miller’s characterization and re-imagining of Circe riveting. I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did, but I flew through the pages, knowing what was coming but enjoying the journey, fascinated (and sometimes angered) by what causes Circe to evolve into the legendary witch of Aiaia.
If you’re interested in reading the novel and discovering more Circe quotes from Madeline Miller, you can click here for a link to the book.