Odysseus: An Exemplary Leader In The Odyssey

769 Words4 Pages
Webster Dictionary defines leadership as simply, “providing direction or guidance,” but to be a successful leader one must focus on completing a goal in a way that is beneficial for the majority, not only the one in charge. This can be achieved by utilitarianism, which is doing of what is best for the most number of people, and carrying out actions that lead to positive effects, instead of merely being done with good intentions. In The Odyssey, Odysseus is not an exemplary leader because he went against utilitarianism by not being honest with his men, letting his arrogance control his behavior, and by killing many people in his house without a fair trial. Firstly, a leader must be truthful with those he works with in order for no errors or confusion to occur as a result of information being hidden. In The Odyssey, not being truthful lead to negative consequences for everyone on Odysseus’ ship, and thus contradicted the principle of utilitarianism stating that actions must lead to positive effects. Odysseus narrated, “But the crews began to mutter among themselves, sure I was hauling troves of gold and silver home, the gifts of open-hearted Aeolus, Hippotas’ son” (10: 39-41). When Odysseus…show more content…
Odysseus ordered, “ … march the women out of the great hall … and hack them with your swords, slash out all their lives” (22: 466-468). This was a very sexist act for Odysseus to command because on his journey he had slept with multiple women, and then he punished the maids, with their lives, for having done the same with the suitors. Odysseus could have issued a less severe punishment to them, and it was ridiculous to kill them for doing something similar to which Odysseus had done. This order shows how Odysseus was a bad leader because he contradicted utilitarianism by completing unjustifiable actions that lead to bad outcomes for the
Open Document