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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. These powers made the men want to stay on the island with the Lotus Eaters and eat nothing other than the lotus fruit. Odysseus knew that his men did not really want this; he knew that they had been put under some sort of spell. He dragged them back onto their ship and ordered his men to make a swift departure from the island so no-one else would suffer the same as the scouts did.

Odysseus was religious, believing in the power of the Greek Gods to control destiny and fate. This helps him set a good example for his men to follow. In book nine he often makes reference to gods and nymphs (the children of gods). 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. The Cyclops then replied that it is nobody's fault and nobody's treachery that caused him pain. The other Cyclopes then say, 'Well if nobody is causing you harm then you must be fine,' and they then walk off and go back to there business.

Odysseus can be rash and make mistakes in judgement. An example of this is when he



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