Throughout the epic poem Homer characterizes Odysseus as a predominantly bad leader, because when comparing him to what Greeks valued In a leader, his actions contradicts those characteristics. In ancient Greece, Greeks valued loyalty, hospitality, assertiveness, and responsibility In a leader. Loyalty was Incredibly important to the Greeks because their entire elite structure was based upon loyalty to the gods; this was often displayed when gods disguised themselves In order to test mortals to see if they were truly loyal (Homer 6). In addition, xenia was giggly regarded in Greek culture (carefree. Org).
Assertiveness was another very important characteristic. As it was important for leaders to be confident with their decisions (Lothario Katz). Responsibility was valued because a leader must have done and move what was best for their team. In order to lead them to greatness (Adkins 1961). Each of the above characteristics was considered important qualities in a Greek leader. Throughout the epic poem, Odysseus portrays characteristics of a bad leader when he is not focused on his main goal of achieving keels by returning to Ithaca. For example, after discovering the luxurious lifestyle that Circe lives.
Odysseus and his men. “day after day stayed for one whole year” (Homer 206). By allowing his men and himself to stay and live in luxury for a whole year, he prolongs their return to Ithaca, This displays Odysseus’ irresponsibility and disloyalty to his men, which directly contradicts the characteristics that Greeks valued in a leader, By continuing to prolong his return to Ithaca “day after day’, he is doing a disservice to his men: Hereford, he is going against the Creek value Of Hypothesis, or “ones sense Of Obligation or duty to another person for a special favor or service received” (carefree. Org)_ Although it ‘s Odysseus’ hamster (greed), Which initially leads him to stay on Circle’s island, ;t is ultimately his decision to stay for year. Another example of Odysseus’ lack of focus is displayed when praising Allusions he states, ;even if you spoke for a delay of one full year, while you prepared my way with shipmates and fine gifts, rd gladly wait. ” (225). This demonstrates that Odysseus loud rather wait and over time attain keels, rather than be loyal to his men and safely guide them home to Ithaca.
Sys saying he would wait to receive gifts, Odysseus shows Irresponsibility and disloyalty. Odysseus’ actions, and lack at actions, display Advises is often depicted as not being the poor leadership he possesses. Assertive by not setting consequences for his men. Which exemplifies poor leadership. An example of this is when on their way back to Ithaca. The crew begins to believe that Odysseus is keeping a bag of treasure selfishly to himself. Against Odysseus’ orders. “They opened up the sack. The bands of wind lepta out’ (Ho-near 192).
Had Odysseus told his men of the effects of the bag being opened or had set consequences, his return to Ithaca would not have been further delayed. Not only does his lack of control show poor leadership, but it also demonstrates that his men are no longer as loyal or as rusting of him as they were at the beginning of the poem. Another example comes after Odysseus and his crew reach the Island of the Sun. Although Odysseus warns his men not to eat the cattle, Urology’s convinces the rest f the men to go against Odysseus’ orders and prey on the cattle (248).
Instead of listening to Odysseus, they listen to their fellow crewmen, Urology’s, which shows that they do not trust their leader. Again, this shows Odysseus’ lack of control. Not only does this show lack of assertiveness, but it also shows his irresponsibility because he left his men by themselves instead of staying to make sure they followed orders. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus’ tendency to not set consequences for his men often hurts him by reducing his power and control. In The Odyssey by
Homer, the characteristics that ancient Greeks valued in a leader are often contradicted by Odysseus, therefore showing that Odysseus is a predominantly bad leader. Throughout the epic, it becomes apparent that the creamers do not trust Odysseus. Their mistrust is comparable to the citizens of France mistrust towards Louis WI. Odysseus does not prove to be a good leader, because he never displays the characteristics that Greeks value in a leader. Odysseus’ inability to delegate proves harmful to not his crew but also to his main goal of attaining keels.