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Odysseus: A Good Leader

By junemiguel Feb 25, 2013 727 Words
Erich Ageno
1st Period
11/13/12
The Odyssey Essay
Odysseus is a good leader because he always faces obstacles head on. Odysseus went to war in Troy. After many years the war is over and Odysseus starts his journey home. In “The Odyssey”, Odysseus begins his journey home facing nature, monsters, and gods. With his skills in all ways of contending, Odysseus survived the journey home and returned to Ithaca. In the following essay I will tell you why Odysseus is a good leader and the traits that makes him so. Those traits are his caution, cleverness, and his fearlessness.

One of the traits that makes Odysseus a good leader is his caution. Without his caution he and his men would have died right away. An example of this is when he entered Polyphemus’s cave. [“Why not take these cheeses, get them stowed, come back, throw open all the pens, and make a run for it? We’ll drive the kids and lambs aboard. We say put out again on good salt water! Ah, how sound that was! Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer no pretty sight, it turned out , for my friends.”{900}] Another example of this is when they approached the Sirens. Odysseus ordered his men to put beeswax in their ears so they won’t crash the ship. The last and best example might be when he got home to Ithaca. He didn’t rush home right away, but stayed back and thought of plan. If he would have rushed home he would have been killed by the suitors. Without his caution, Odysseus and his crew would have been pressed into more dangerous situations and died. Odysseus is very cautious and he would not have proceeded without a plan.

The second traits that makes Odysseus a good leader is his cleverness. Odysseus cleverness got him and his crew out of sticky situations. One example is when he told Polyphemus his name was Nohbdy. (“Cyclops, you ask my honorable name? Remember the gift you promised me and I shall tell you. My name is Nohbdy; mother, father, and friends, everyone call me Nohbdy. Pg. 904 Line 358-361). This was very clever of him. When Odysseus and his men stabbed Polyphemus in the eye, the Cyclops called out to his brothers telling them “Nohbdy” stabbed him in the eye. Thinking this was a joke, his brothers didn’t come to help him. If Odysseus would have used his name, Polyphemus brothers would have finished off Odysseus, his crew, and his hopes of returning home. Another example is when Odysseus had to fight the goddess Circe in order to turn his men back to humans. On the way, the god Hermes gave Odysseus a magical plant called a moly to help protect him from Circe’s spell. Circe was caught off guard when she noticed her spell had no effect on him. Odysseus got Circe to turn his men back to humans by having sexual intercourse with her. Being clever is a trait that any good leader should have because it’s sometimes unpredictable.

Last but not least, Odysseus best trait that makes him such a effective leader is his fearlessness. No matter what obstacle Odysseus had to face, he faced it head on. He stood up against monsters, gods, and even Mother Nature. He fought the goddess Circe when she turned his men into swines. (“Without a word, I drew my sharpened sword and in one bound held it against her throat {920}) The best example might have been when he stood his ground against the suitors who tried to marry his Penelope and take his throne. (“Not for the whole treasure of your fathers, all you enjoy, lands, flocks, or any gold put up by others, would I hold my hand. There will be killing till the score is paid. You forced yourselves upon this house. Fight your out, or run for it, if you think you’ll escape death. I doubt one man of you skins by. Pg. 943 Line 1281-1287) Without Odysseus ‘s fearlessness he would not have survived his treacherous journey home.

In conclusion, Odysseus fought and outsmarted his way home. He was cautious, clever, and fearless. If Odysseus wasn’t such a good leader and didn’t have those traits, he would not have reached his home, Ithaca.

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