In the Odyssey, was Odysseus a good leader? If so, in what way(s)?

In the Odyssey, was Odysseus a good leader? If so, in what way(s)?

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This is an interesting question and certainly one that is up to a certain degree of interpretation. On one hand, it might be easy to argue that Odysseus is not a good leader, considering that all his men get killed over the course of their voyage. Much of this is the result of Odysseus's own pride, seeing as it is his boastfulness that results in the punishing wrath of Poseidon. If he had put the needs of his crew first, rather than needing to boast to Polyphemus, much harm could have been avoided. Furthermore, Odysseus could have done a better job communicating with his crew. If he had simply told them what was in the bag that Aeolus had given them, they would not have prematurely opened it and could have safely sailed home.

However, I might still argue that Odysseus is a good leader in spite of all this. Even in the face of all their hardships, he never gives up their goal of reaching home. He truly cares about his crew, for instance, going out of his way to see that the spirit of...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 928 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 20, 2019
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