Foolishness In Homer's The Odyssey

Good Essays
A hero is a person who is recognized or idealized for his or her outstanding achievements and noble qualities. The deaths of his men are the result of Odysseus’ weaknesses. The possession of the character trait, arrogance, does not help him in escaping, but rather puts him closer to danger. Another trait that ends up killing a number of his men is his lack of leadership skills, or rather the lack of respect and trust from his men. In some parts of this epic poem, Odysseus also displays the characteristic, foolishness, in which that also results in the deaths of a number of his men. In the epic poetry, “The Odyssey,” by Homer, Odysseus exhibits his arrogance, foolishness, and his lack of leadership in which it leads to him going home by himself.…show more content…
According to the book on how Odysseus approached the situation about Scylla, it says, “That was all, and it brought them round to action. But as I sent them on toward Scylla, I told them nothing, as they could do nothing.”(L. 160-162), and thus showing his foolishness. Odysseus continued onward and gave his men an illusion of victory and safety that they would be able to pass through this enormous obstacle they come upon. Odysseus knew it himself that he and his men may not be able to get through this big of an obstacle, but he just pushed them forward. This shows an act of foolishness as leader because he did not notify his men of the dangerous obstacle coming towards him, but just keeps put to leave his men to fend for themselves. An example of Odysseus’ arrogance is when Odysseus brags to Cyclops and yells out, “O Cyclops! Would you feast on my companions? Puny am I, in a Caveman’s hands? How do you like the beating that we gave you…” (L. 390-392). This piece of evidence has two parts on how Odysseus endangers his men. The outcome of Odysseus’ outburst is a majority of his men dying and being cursed by Cyclops’s father, Poseidon, the God of the Sea. This shows how Odysseus bragging and his arrogance leads his men and him to danger. The role of a leader should be to lead his men to safety and…show more content…
An example of his cleverness would be when he tells Polyphemus, the cyclops that his “ ‘ is Nohbdy; mother, father, and friends, everyone calls me Nohbdy’ (page 380 Lines 274-275).” This shows his cleverness because he avoids being killed and does not exploit his name. He also avoids telling his real name, so that Polyphemus would not curse him. Though Odysseus manages to get him and his men out of Cyclops’ clasps, he ends up screwing up their only chance of getting home safely. An example of Odysseus’ intelligence is When the three men that Odysseus sent to check the land of the Lotus Eaters, and they were “forgetful of their homeland. [Odysseus] drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, tied them down under their rowing benches…(page 373 Lines 47-49).” This shows his intelligence by only sending in three men. However, Odysseus being clever only helps them in only one situation, and by the end of book 12, a majority of his men end up dying. What Odysseus did in one situation should not depend on whether he is a hero, but rather should be based on what the outcome
Get Access