I need help with an English essay on The Odyssey and I don't have a copy to read. I need to discuss evidence of Odysseus showing leadership, emotional strength, and self-control.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first issue of your not having a copy to read can easily be remedied. There are several free versions of the text available on the web. Some links to free versions of the text are:

  • http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/odyssey.html
  • https://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/homer/odysseytofc.htm
  • http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1727

On finding evidence of Odysseus displaying leadership and self control, a good starting point would be Book 9, in which Odysseus describes his capture by the Cyclops Polyphemus and the complex stratagems he devised and executed to blind Polyphemus and escape from his cave.

The Nausicaa episode in book 6 shows diplomacy and self-restraint on the part of Odysseus, in the way he treats the young girl with respect rather than taking advantage of her and dishonoring her. 

In the episode on Circe's island, Odysseus shows leadership and self-control in rescuing his men and insisting on Circe freeing them before agreeing to become her lover. 

In Book 12, Odysseus holds a steady course in the episode of Scylla and Charybdis, letting Scylla swallow six sailors so the rest can survive, and leading his men so they do not panic.

Finally, in leaving the land of the lotus-eaters, Odysseus displays leadership and determination. 

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The Odyssey

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