The Odyssey by Homer

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Is Odysseus A Good Leader

What is some evidence that Odysseus is a good or bad leader in Homer's Odyssey?

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Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Odysseus is not intended to conform to twenty-first century notions of "good leadership." Homer existed within a very different culture. Many acts that would horrify us, such as fairly casual ways of thinking about rape and murder, excessive boasting, and valuing saving face over survival, are common in Homer. Moreover, Homer is a poet who praises the "great deeds" of individuals and is less concerned with things like teamwork, shared goals, and working within systems than modern business leaders. In fact, any modern business leader with the attitude or habits of a Homeric hero would end up fired or in jail in a matter of days. 

Within Homeric context, Odysseus is one of the great Greek heroes, although this does not mean he is without flaws. He is renowned for his cleverness, as can be seen in his schemes for defeating Polyphemus. He is loyal to Penelope and apparently a good and benevolent ruler of Ithaca. He is favored by many of the gods (even if offending Poseidon), something that...

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