In these adventures, how does Odysseus show himself to be an effective leader?

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troutmiller's profile pic

troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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One of the best places to see the different qualities of Odysseus is when he's in Polyphemus' cave.  He is corned there with his men and are all eventually going to be eaten if he can't find a way out.  Odysseus comes up with a plan, off the top of his head, to get Polyphemus to fall asleep (wine) and then blind him.  They are trapped inside because the door is a gigantic rock that none of his men can roll.  Only Polyphemus can move it for them.  So he is smart enough not to kill the cyclops, but blind him.  Tricking Polyphemus into drinking the wine, sharpening the huge tree trunk into a spear, and then successfully driving it into the eye of the cyclops shows not only guile but strength and leadership. 

The last idea he came up with there was tying his men under sheep to escape when Polyphemus let his sheep out to graze.  He would never feel the men, only the tops of the sheep.  These intelligent plans and then the carrying out of them shows great leadership.  He was very effective in getting the majority of his men out of there, when in any other situation, most of the men would die in there and never get out.

jessica77's profile pic

jessica77 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

When Odysseus forces his men off the island of the Lottus Eaters and ties them to the ship he is being a leader because he is taking responsibility for his men.

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