Homer's "The Odessy"

Essay by johnny_napalmJunior High, 9th gradeB+, November 2006

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Lead by Example

What separates a leader from a follower? For any group of people there tends to be one extraordinary person who leads the group to their full potential. However a leader does not get chosen randomly. There are certain traits that make leaders stand out from everyone else. Odysseus displays the qualities of an exemplary leader through his courage, wits, and brutality.

In "The Odyssey", Odysseus can be seen showing all the qualities of a true leader. First of all a leader must be courageous, it takes tremendous courage for a mortal to hoist "high that olive steak with it's stabbing point, /strait into the monster's eye" (9.427-428). Odysseus' extraordinary accomplishments drive his team to escape from the Cyclops. No ordinary man can come up with a plan like Odysseus; it takes a true military genius, with plenty of courage, to accomplish a plan like his.

Yet another example of Odysseus' military genius occurs during the slaughter scene, after the suitors hurl their javelins at Odysseus, he commands his men "to hurl at them, /I say, into this rack of suitors!" (22.275-276). Odysseus sees his opportunities, and he takes them and in this case ends up killing four enemy suitors. Odysseus' tactics leads his friends to victory. A leader must set an example for whomever he leads, in the case of the slaughter scene Odysseus does not want his friends to show any mercy toward the men trying to seduce his wife. Odysseus provides an excellent example of sheer brutality when he "lopped his nose and ears with a ruthless knife, /tore his genitals out for the dogs to eat raw /and...hacked off his hands and feet." (22.502-504). Odysseus does this so that he shows his friends how he wants them...