What are your thoughts on Calypso?
One of the passages I worked on recently was Calypso’s final speech to Odysseus. There’s something equal parts chilling and poignant about her. On the one hand, she is keeping Odysseus hostage. She offers him unending pleasure, ageless youth, eternity, but he does not want any of it. He sits at the shore weeping and longing for home. She “loves” him, like a pampered pet who partakes of what is offered but thinks only of escape.
“Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus
Odysseus, full of resources,
Who dwells in the dear land of your father.
Do you wish to go now, straightaway? Fare you well then, despite everything.
Anyway, if you knew, in your heart and mind, your portion,
The sorrows that will fill you before reaching the land of your father,
You would keep watch over this house, remaining with me here, on this spot.
You would be immortal, even though you are longing to see
Your wife, who you are forever wishing for, every day.
But surely, I vow that I am not inferior.
Neither in body nor in stature, since in no way does she resemble
An immortal. Being mortal, she cannot contend in body or form.”