Odysseus, Good Leader or Bad Leader?
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Odysseus, Good Leader or Bad Leader? The setting for chapter nine of the Odyssey surrounds Odysseus' journey to the island of the Cyclopes, and their encounter with the people known as the 'Lotus Eater' and the Cyclopes. The chapter gives an insight to several of the qualities of Odysseus, good and bad. Some of these qualities will be considered, judging whether they make him a good or bad leader. There is evidence in the chapter to support the view that Odysseus was a good leader who cared for his men. For example, When a party of scouts made their way into the land of the 'Lotus Eaters', they were effected by the power of the lotus fruits.
One of these being ', some god must have guided us here through the murky night,' and also ', presently the Nymphs, those children of Zeus, set the mountain goats on the move to ensure my companions a meal'. Chapter nine also suggests that Odysseus is an intelligent man who can plan ahead. For example when in the Cyclops cave he tricks the Cyclops by giving his name as 'nobody'. When the Cyclops is blinded and screams for help, the other Cyclopes come to his aid. As the Cyclops had shut off his cave the others were unable to see inside and could only shout to ask him what was wrong.
As a result of this the Cyclops throws a huge boulder at the ship narrowly missing it. Odysseus' men then stop him shouting again, but he ignores them and shouts at the Cyclops again, giving his name, 'Cyclops, if anyone ever asks you how you came by you blindness, tell them your eye was put out by Odysseus, sacker of cities, son of Laertes, who lives in Ithaca'. The Cyclops now puts a curse on Odysseus. This also shows Odysseus does not always listen to the opinions of his men. In conclusion I consider that the chapter gives evidence of both the positive and negative aspects of Odysseus character. It shows Odysseus could be an intelligent leader who cared or his men's well being and safety, but that he could also be arrogant and impetuous.
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