The Characteristics Of Great Leadership In The Iliad

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During the Greek and Trojan War depicted in the Iliad the reader leans of the qualities of the many leaders. The Greeks lead by Agamemnon and the Trojans lead by Hector have been at war for nine years previous to the Iliad. There are many leaders in the Iliad that are great and there are some that are terrible. Great leaders are ones that have courage, the respect of their men and enemies, and are inspirational. Terrible leaders are cowardly and selfish when faced with great challenges. The best leader in the Iliad is Hector and the worst is his brother Paris. Being courageous in the face of great danger and challenge is a sign of a great leader. Without courage a leader cannot hope to have their men follow them into battle as well as expect …show more content…
The ability to inspire people allows leaders to turn the tide of battle, instill confidence in a losing situation and is a clear sign of a great leader. During many of the battles Hector has inspired his men to fight, win battles they normally would not and perform better than they ever would. When the Trojans manage to push the Greeks back to their makeshift fortress hector charges towards the trench “rallying cohorts” (XII. 58). He inspires the other solders to also cross the trench and push the Greeks back to their ships. Even after receiving a terrible omen about the battle Hector still manages to inspire his troops to keep fighting. After a decisive defeat in battle Hector still manages to inspire the Trojans to not give up and hide behind the walls of Troy; instead he manages to inspire the Trojans to stay outside and prepare for the coming fight (XVIII. 331-360). Hector’s ability to inspire his troops while the situation looks bleak is greater than any of the other leaders. All of the other leaders are not able to inspire their men to the extent Hector can with only their words. Hector is by far the most inspiring of all of the leaders, Greek or …show more content…
Paris has shown many times that he is a coward and will run away when faced with a life or death situation. During the first day of battle Paris challenged the Greeks to a duel, but when Menelaus came to accept the challenge Paris ran back into the Trojan line (III. 15-41). Even after taunting the Greeks Paris runs away back to the Trojans. Paris’s action causes Hector and many others warriors to criticize Paris and call him a coward. Even after he loses the fight and is saved by Aphrodite he stays in his room with Helen rather than returning to the battle (III. 432-525). Instead of doing what most warriors of the time would do and return to battle immediately, Paris chooses to stay in bed with Helen and abandons his fellow Trojans. By being a coward many Trojans start to lose respect for Pairs, including his own brother Hector. Without the respect of his people Paris will not be able to inspire his people and many will not follow what he says. Paris’s repeated cowardice throughout the war loses him the respect of many Trojans and he has the least respect out of all of the

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