In the novel Circe and the musical Hadestown, Madeline Miller and Anaïs Mitchell create transformative retellings of selected Greek myths, where the narrative perspective is shifted to the women, allowing for a deeper examination of the complexity of these characters. Circe details the life of the titular goddess as she grapples with the tension between her exile and her agency, experiencing a complex web of non-linear emotions. In Hadestown, Eurydice must learn to overcome her pessimism to trust another, while Persephone must abandon her coping mechanisms and finally stand up to the abuses of her husband, Hades. Mitchell and Miller do not seek to create images of female perfection, but rather they seek to create characters that accurately reflect the deep complexity of the female experience that was denied these characters in their original myths.
Swartzentruber, Abby, "A Choice to Make: The Portrayal of Female Characters’ Agency and Emotion in Madeline Miller’s Circe and Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown" (2023). English Senior Capstone. 24.