Odysseus fought in the Trojan War for many years and now his only intention is to get home to his wife and his son. His leadership is continually tested throughout the book. Odysseus is an intelligent and brave man, but in Book IX he fails to show these characteristics by appearing as an amateurish leader. Odysseus' unsatisfactory leadership in Book IX is shown in many cases. Sending his men to explore the unknown island of the Lotus Eaters is one of them. When we had eaten and drunk, I sent some of them to find out who the natives were: two picked men with a speaker. (page 107) This led to a fatal mistake by Odysseus because the Lotus Eaters drugged his men with their sweet berries. As soon as they tasted that honey-sweet fruit, they thought no more of coming back to us with news, but chose rather to stay there with the lotus-eating natives, and chew their lotus, and good-bye to home. (page 107) Odysseus shows awful leadership when he decides to stay in the cave when they see the Cyclops. The men begged me first to let them help themselves to the cheese and be off; next they wanted to make haste and drive the kids and lambs out of the pens and get under sail. But I would not listen-indeed it would have been much better if I had. But I wanted to see himself and claim the stranger's gift. (page 110) Odysseus' men suggested they leave when they see the Cyclops in the field, but Odysseus wanted to play the role of a good guest.
They burned an offering in the cave and decided to wait there for the Cyclops. Odysseus' curiosity also pushed him to refuse and stay to see the caveman. Odysseus' positive leadership is shown when he dragged his men back to the ship and locked them up to get them off the Lotus Eaters island. I brought them back to the ships by main force, grumbling and complaining, and when I had them there, tied them up and stowed them under the benches. (page 107) After understanding his mistake and the causes of it, Odysseus quickly thought of fixing it. Using his physical strength he took all his men back to the ship and this shows a characteristic of a good leader. Odysseus commits a foolish blunder when he taunted the Cyclops after he had stabbed his eye. I say Cyclops! If ever any one asks you who put out your ugly eye, tell him your blinder was Odysseus, the conqueror of Troy, the son of La?«rt??s, whose address is in Ithaca! The reason this will result catastrophically in the future is because the Cyclops appears to be the son of Poseidon, the God of the sea. This leads to Odysseus being cursed by the Cyclops. Hear me, Poseidon Earthholder Seabluehair! If I am trruly thy son and thou art indeed my father, grant that Odysseus, the conqueror of Troy - the son of La?«rt??s - whose address is in Ithaca, may never reach his home! (page 118) In conclusion, Odysseus has shown good distinctives throughout the book, but his leadership shown in Book IX is inferior. A lot of Odysseus' blunders could have been prevented if he had simply thought of the effects his actions would have had. Each action that we commit has consequences and we need to be aware of them because they could involve other people besides ourselves.
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