The Odyssey

How does Odysseus demonstrate effective leadership abilities in section 70-105?

Now Zeus the lord of cloud roused in the north

a storm against the ships, and driving veils

of squall moved down like night on land and sea.

The bows went plunging at the gust; sails

cracked and lashed out strips in the big wind.

75 We saw death in that fury, dropped the yards,

unshipped the oars, and pulled for the nearest lee;

then two long days and nights we lay offshore

worn out and sick at heart, tasting out grief,

until a third Dawn came with ringlets shining.

80 Then we put up our masts, hauled sail, and rested,

letting the steersmen and the breeze take over.

I might have made it safely home, that time,

but as I came round Malea the current

took me out to sea, and from the north

85 a fresh gale drove me on, past Cythera.

Nine days I drifted on the teeming sea

before dangerous high winds. Upon the tenth

we came to the coastline of the Lotus-Eaters,

who live upon that flower. We landed there

90 to take on water. All ships’ companies

mustered alongside for the mid-day meal.

Then I sent out two picked men and a runner

to learn what race of men that land sustained.

They fell in, soon enough, with the Lotus-Eaters,

95 who showed no will to do us harm, only

offering the sweet Lotus to our friends—

but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus,

never cared to report, nor to return:

they longed to stay forever, browsing on

100 that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland.

I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships,

tied them down under their rowing benches,

and called the rest: ‘All hands aboard;

come, clear the beach and no one taste

105 the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home.’

Filing in to their places by the rowlocks

my oarsmen dipped their long oars in the surf,

and we moved out again on our sea faring.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Much of this section has to do with navigating stormy waters so Odysseus shows his leadership capabilities with both seafaring and crew. Then he delegates responsibility when the reach the Land of the Lotus Eaters. Odysseus shows added leadership when he man handles the crew members who refuse to leave, reminding them of their duties.