Frustration, Boredom, and Fantasy: Augusta Webster’s “Circe”


  • Dorota Osinska



Victorian poetry, boredom studies, Augusta Webster, “Circe”, revisionist mythology


The present article examines how Augusta Webster’s dramatic monologue “Circe” (1870), represents the problem of women’s boredom, frustration, and fantasy through the reinterpretation of the mythological Greek enchantress Circe. The analysis offers a close reading of the text supported by philosophical, historical, and cultural notions of boredom. Webster’s poem functions as an intriguing commentary on how loneliness and hatred towards domesticity are accompanied by growing sexual frustration and even misandry. My reading proposes a fresh look at Webster’s work, incorporating a number of critical, mostly feminist, analyses of the poem. Indeed, Webster’s “Circe” acts as a provocative glimpse into the psycho-scape of a bored woman who gradually reveals her incessant desires for change and a perfect lover.

Author Biography

Dorota Osinska

Dorota Osińska is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral School of Humanities, Institute of English Studies at University of Warsaw. Her main research interest centers on 19th and early 20th-century British literature and culture with a focus on Victorian poetry and art, the Pre-Raphaelites, and British Aestheticism. She has published articles on Victorian poetry, nineteenth-century women writers, and revisionist poetry.


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How to Cite

Osinska, D. (2023). Frustration, Boredom, and Fantasy: Augusta Webster’s “Circe”. American & British Studies Annual, 16, 94–105.