Evan Mays Odysseus Good Leader or Bad Leader The setting for chapter nine of the Odyssey surrounds Odysseus journey to the island of the Cyclops and their encounter with the people known as the Lotus Eater and the Cyclops 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
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For example When a party of scouts made their way into the land of the Lotus Eaters they were affected 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 A hero to most would be someone who has courage and has risked or sacrificed his life for others To others a person that has discovered or achieved something outstanding was considered a hero as well In ancient Greece a hero was considered a man often of divine ancestry who is exceptionally clever and talented with great courage and strength celebrated for his brave accomplishments and favored by the gods
A hero was a leader who had not only physical strength but mental strength as well He was usually someone that got themselves into danger and in cases where the average man would suffer the hero would have enough stamina to survive Odysseus a famous Greek epic hero displays all these qualities throughout his travels home and abroad He first reveals his cleverness when he encounters Polyphemus cave Before he decides to venture to the cave he gets a feeling that something bad is going to happen and decides to bring along his magical bottle of wine When he reaches the cave the Cyclops sensed that Odysseus and his crew were in his cave and traps them inside When Polyphemus eats one of Odysseus men Odysseus yells at him for not showing hospitality and he in turn will be punished by Zeus Odysseus thought of using his bottle of wine then but thinks about what is best and realizes only the Cyclops could open the door to the cave Odysseus shows his craftiness and cunningness when Polyphemus asks him his name and he replies Nobody Odysseus waits till the next day when the Cyclops goes outside to pasture his sheep When the Cyclops comes back in Odysseus gives him the wine making him drunk and causes him to fall asleep Odysseus finds a wooden staff in the cave and sharpens it by the fire
While the Cyclops was still asleep he took the staff and screwed it into the Cyclops eye which blinded him Odysseus uses his creativity when he and his men hid underneath the Cyclops sheep at night Odysseus plays with the Cyclops s emotions by luring him with the wine and calling him a bloody monster The Cyclops is obviously pleased with the spoken words and gestures and as a result he gives in to his greed as he takes the wine Odysseus s confidence in his own ability was the first step towards his success with the Cyclops However he has to take it a step further in order to make a successful get away Once again a demonstration of his sharp intellect shows how Odysseus is smarter and more cunning than the average human A quote that demonstrates his intelligence is 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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