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Is Odysseus a Good Leader in the Odyssey?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Gingam
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Sometimes people aren’t as great as we perceive or hear them to be. The epic poem The Odyssey by Homer is about a war hero and king named Odysseus and his journey home from the Trojan War and it reveals how even great leaders have their flaws. Odysseus is faced with many trials throughout his journey home to Ithaca. Although he is said to be a perfect leader, we later see that his flaws are what cause these challenges and ultimately gets in his way to get home. Odysseus is a person who likes adventure and likes to experience things first-hand, because of this he is an imperfect leader. Odysseus has his qualities, he’s a brilliant strategist and has shown that by being the one who came up with the idea to use the Trojan Horse to end the ten-year-long war. When coming back from the war, one of his first trials is against a cyclops named Polyphemus. He and his men get captured by the Cyclops and get trapped in a cave where it is blocked by a huge boulder. When Polyphemus asks for Odysseus’ name, Odysseus says “‘Nobody - that’s my name. Nobody - so my mother and father call me, all my friends,’” (223). This is a good idea not to tell they cyclops his name, it shows he's quick to think of a good plan because of him being on the spot when faced with the question. The reason why he says his name is “Nobody” is so when Odysseus attacks the Cyclops. NOBODY is attacking Polyphemus. It’s a clever trick and it would have worked if Odysseus hadn’t revealed later that “‘say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out your eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!’” (227). This was Odysseus’ biggest mistake in the entire book, because it only caused him further trouble down the line. By telling his name to the Cyclops, Polyphemus can tell Poseidon that it was Odysseus who blinded him. Poseidon will listen because Polyphemus is his son, Poseidon after this causes rough water…...

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