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"What qualities does Odysseus display in books 9-12

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Introduction

"What qualities does Odysseus display in books 9-12?" Books 9-12 deal with Odysseus' wanderings. Many commentators of The Odyssey see Odysseus' wanderings as a series of trials or tests through which he would attain a certain level of wisdom and prepares to be a good leader. In book 9, Odysseus shows good judgement in his encounter with the lotus-eaters. The lotus-eaters have no intention in killing Odysseus and his men. The danger is the lotus and the forgetfulness it causes. Odysseus' judgement prevails and he manages to get his men back to sea too many are seduced by the lotus that wipes out ambition and memory. Then they landed on the land of the Cyclops, who have no laws and regard for the gods. It is during this episode that Odysseus' judgement comes into question. Having feasted on goat meat, Odysseus and his men could move on. However, Odysseus is curious about who lives on the mainland. Taking twelve of his best men, as well as a skin of extremely strong wine he received from a priest of Apollo, he sets out to explore a cave near the shore. ...read more.

Middle

While he sleeps, curiosity and mistrust overcome them and they open the bag releasing all the adverse winds. This instance shows that Odysseus is a poor leader and fails to win the trust of his men. However, his encounter with Aeolus demonstrates to us that he is a charming and sociable person. This is evident in the fact that people are usually more than willing to help him. After Aeolia, Odysseus and his men arrive at the land of the Lastrygonians. Odysseus cautiously sends scouts to explore the place and check out the inhabitants who at gist seen hospitable. Suddenly the hosts devour the scouts and hurl boulders at Odysseus' ships. As a result of Odysseus' good leadership skills, his men survive and his ship remains undamaged. Then they arrive at Aeaea, Circe's island. Odysseus again sends out a scouting party, but Circe turns them all into pigs. Eurylochus escapes and tells Odysseus about what happened. He Odysseus then sets off to Circe's palace to save his men. This is an excellent example of Odysseus' courage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Following Circe's advice, he avoids the whirlpool and confronts the six-headed monster. This shows that Odysseus listen to others advice. Against his instincts as a warrior, he pushes through the monster's attack without stopping for a fight, realising that delay would cost more lives. This is another example of Odysseus' ability to make good judgements. The final test of Odysseus' judgement takes place at the island of the sun god. His men are tired and hungry. Eurylocus speaks for the crew and begs Odysseus to land on the island so that the men can rest and prepare a proper meal. He promises Odysseus that they will not harm the sacred cattle. Odysseus shows more compassion than leadership by giving in to Eurylocus' demand. After a month, the supplies they brought with them run low. While Odysseus sleeps, his men led by Eurylocus slaughter the finest of the sun god's cattle. This instance once again shows readers that Odysseus is a poor leader and fails to win over his men's trust and loyalty. In conclusion, although there are numerous instances where Odysseus acts poorly, he is nonetheless portrayed positively in The Odyssey. He portrayed as cunning, brave, charming and shrewd. ...read more.

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