Odysseus Leadership Analysis

892 Words 4 Pages
It is said that the path to becoming an effective leader is a long and arduous journey. Leaders are thought to be someone that is intelligent, cunning, and someone that always thinks rationally to protect those beneath them. In Homer’s ancient epic, The Odyssey, and Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, both Authors describe the fundamental tools that create effective leaders. However, the tactics that each author chooses to present are far different. The Tao Te Ching in my opinion, best describes an ideal leader, while the Odyssey sets an appalling example of how a leader should act. Now, the question may arise as to how can the ideal leader be defined? In Homer’s ancient epic, The Odyssey, the protagonist, Odysseus, is considered to be a leader for …show more content…
His quick thinking, cunning words and strategic approach led him to swift victory over the towering giant. However, through extensive analysis of book nine, readers can truly see the many flaws within our protagonist’s character. At the beginning of the ninth book, we begin to see the great irresponsibility of Odysseus, as he listens to the pleas of his men to leave the cyclops’ island and ignores their judgment.
“From the start my comrades pressed me, pleading hard, 'Let's make away with the cheeses, then come back — hurry, drive the lambs and kids from the pens to our swift ship, put out to sea at once!' But 1 would not give way — and how much better it would have been.” (Homer p. 218)
Odysseus shows great negligence here as he ignores the desperate pleas of his shipmates and puts them in grave danger. The great hero’s irresponsibility and ignorance of the Greek custom of Xenia only predicts a great tragedy for our protagonist and his comrades. After the many scenes within the cave and the many casualties that occur, Odysseus is finally able to rally his crew to blind the great giant. After the blinding Polyphemus, we are able to see that no mortal man can be perfect, no matter how heroic they may be. Although Odysseus' ingenuity in this situation is displayed as his principal weapon against his many adversaries, his weakness radiates from his uncontrollable pride and the rate at which he falls victim to temptation and makes serious strategic errors such as, taunting the cyclops and revealing who had truly blinded

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