In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is an effective leader in chapter twelve. A leader who has too much pride is now showing too much humbleness for what’s important by following all the things he has told to do to save his crew and himself. He does what he is told to do to save his crew and keep them safe. “ But now, fearing death , all eyes fixed on Charybdis now Scylla snatched six men from our hollow ship, the toughest, strongest hands I had, and glancing backwards over the decks, searching or my crew I could see their hands and feet already hoisted, failing, high, higher, over my head, look wailing down at me, comrades riven in agony.
In this passage from The Odyssey, Homer uses an epic simile comparing Odysseus’ crew to calves and Odysseus to a cow and a second simile comparing Odysseus to Ithaca in order to portray the sense of reliance and loyalty the men have for their leader. In the book, Odysseus has just returned from Circe’s palace where some of the crew had disappeared. Since the men chosen to venture into Circe’s home did not return, the rest of the crew thought Odysseus would also not make it back to the ship. When Homer writes that the men are, “bucking out of their pens, lowing nonstop, jostling, rushing round their mothers (455-456),” he conveys the men’s desparation to get to Odysseus. The phrase, “bucking out of their pens (455),” refers to the fact that Odysseus’ crew is trapped and helpless without him.
The way that Book 12 demonstrates examples of both skilled and faultless leadership on the part of Odysseus by not telling his men that six of them were going to die and by doing everything Circe told him in his fate. Not telling his men that six of them were going to die shows skilled leadership because he thought ahead and knew what their reactions were going to be which would’ve gotten them all killed, “They would’ve dropped their oars again, in panic,” (Homer 766). If the men were to panic, hide, and try to save themselves then they would’ve put the entire crew in danger including the ship. Book 12 shows how he is a faultless leader too, by sticking to what Circe told him was his fate. By sticking to what Circe said Odysseus ensured that he would make it home to his wife and son.
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way". During the whole story Odysseus was showing to get back to Ithaca. Odysseus saves his men many times in different places. For example, he saved his men on the island of the Lotus Eaters and sacrificed himself when he listened to the Sirens. Odysseus was a strong leader and did everything he could to help his crew because in the Lotus Eaters he brought his men back and he protected his men from the Sirens.
After Odysseus returns from his encounter with Circe, a beautiful witch-goddess who drugs and bewitches Odysseus’s most able crewmen, his men are more than relieved to see him and they flock around him as if he is their master and their shepherd. Odysseus is a man who is respected by his crew and treated as a mortal god by the heavens above. As shown in this scene, his men are stuck in the middle of a cross road without his guidance, pivoting towards all directions but incapable of moving forward with a plan. They are “wailing and crying besides [the] sailing ship”(10.433) without any sense of hope and direction in life. They are missing a leader who will lead them in war and guide them back home; they are missing Odysseus.
This simile highlights a stratagem adopted by Odysseus to help him and his men escape the cave. Odysseus selects four men to help him drive a sharp object into Polyphemus' eye; however, this tactic is ineffective because there remain guards at the cave's entrance who are tasked with catching any Greek that attempts to escape. This simile exemplifies Odysseus' wisdom as a war strategist, and his application of intellectual tactics to out-maneuver the enemy. After this plan proved to be a failure, Odysseus hid with the rams and successfully escaped. The consistent strategies Odysseus came up with to defeat the enemy even when they proved to be failures just indicated that he is wise and capable to learn from his mistakes.
Secondly, Odysseus in all his journeys, in my opinion has been larger than life. Surviving way too many times, has faced way to many difficulties, and he is still intact. An idiosyncratic part of Odysseus’ image is bravery, but he shouldn’t use it as a panacea all the time. He shows strong leadership and more nobility throughout the story than most men. An example of that is when he lead them through book 9 when he got his men out of the cave and got out of the island I would like to add that he which meant he still made sure his men are secure resulting in him looking very responsible and is really a true leader.
“The Hero doesn’t Get the Reward; the Hero Pays the Price” (anon). One of the heroes who paid the dear price was Odysseus, a hero who fought in The Trojan War. Odysseus was the man who came up with the plan to build the wooden horse, ending the rigorous fight with it. Odysseus was going back home after earning the victory for his country, which he was king of one of the kingdoms -Ithaca-. But Odysseus faced trials that constrained him ten years late to arrive home.
Odysseus is a hero. In my opinion a hero is someone who fights for what they believe in and fights for others. A hero gives his life to save another person no matter what the risk. Odysseus fought for what he needed. He fought for his wife, and his child.
I strongly agree with your points on Odysseus’ leadership. Other than in the books “Scylla and Charybdis” and “The Sirens,” Odysseus’ leadership is also shown in “The Cyclops.” Despite being pressured by his crew to leave the cave, Odysseus used his wit and convinced his men to stay, as he wanted to see what Polyphemus had to offer. This shows Odysseus’ courage. Later on, his intelligence allowed his men to take out Polyphemus’ eye and escape the cave, leaving only a few dead.