Essay on Leadership Traits Demonstrated by Odyssey and Oedipus

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Middlebury College
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A lot of themes can be derived from some of the most famous world literature. One of the most common themes that authors have tried to bring out in their literature is leadership styles. Most authors prefer to use protagonists to bring out the theme of leadership. Good examples of how these themes have been brought out can be retrieved from The Odyssey and Oedipus. Despite the fact that the two leaders are depicted to be of Greek origin full of wisdom, Odyssey faces supernatural challenges that make him braver than Oedipus. This paper will discuss the leadership characteristics of these two characters.

From the story of Oedipus, it is evident that this character portrays a character of a brilliant leader who has an enormous capability to understand and interpret situations CITATION Mic15 \l 1033 (Walton). Evidence of his brilliance can be derived from the instance where he solves a puzzle of Sphinx. Despite the fact, Oedipus was considered a stranger in the Thebes Kingdom, his wisdom and ability to understand and save the city from the Sphinx. Oedipus has also been depicted as a responsible leader who became a good King for the people of Thebes. Whenever any crisis arose, his leadership instincts always put the value of the citizens as a top agenda. As a responsible leader, he always made an effort to distance himself from any corrupt dealing thus considered to lack discretion. This is evident when Creon requests for privacy to discuss the message from the oracle; a suggestion that Oedipus turned down. Despite the fact that Oedipus was widely considered to have good leadership characteristics, he also had negative traits. One, he was a leader who let fear control how he thought at some point. This is revealed at the point when a messenger brings to Oedipus news about the demise of his father. Jocasta reminds Oedipus of a similar prediction he had made in the past but was overlooked by Oedipus due to fear. Oedipus also admits fearing the presence of Merope, the wife to Polypus. His fear exposes his weaknesses as far as leadership character is concerned.

From the story of The Odyssey, it is evident that the main character, Odyssey, was a leader largely considered as a self-made CITATION Hen96 \l 1033 (Henning). This is a type of leader who holds more value of the culture of the people he leads. It can be argued that Odyssey has been depicted as the perfect example of a Greek leader. His passion and character as a leader won Odyssey a lot of admiration from the fellow human beings. Odyssey was also highly favored by goddess Athena who frequently provided him with divine help.

Odyssey was a courageous soldier who led his people on the battle field. As a leader, he was proved to lead his warriors by providing a perfect example. Despite the fact that Odyssey received negative support from Poseidon, he was brave to face all frustrations presented. From his actions, Odyssey as an informed leader who understood what the people and gods wanted. He was able to instruct his soldiers to make a sacrifice to Poseidon in an attempt to appease the immortal. Odysseys intelligence is also depicted when he quickly crafts a way out of the cave of the Cyclops. One of the negative characters that Odyssey depicts is that of lies. At some point, Odyssey lies to his friends and families to have his way. It can be argued brave character of Odyssey is stronger as compared to that depicted by Oedipus. This is because; Odyssey courageously comes up against supernatural forces.

Works Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY Fagles, Robert. The Odyssey. n.d.

Henning, Kirsten. "Odyssey: The vulnerable hero." 1996. Core Journal. <>.

Johnstone, Ian. Sophocles Oedipus the King. Nanaimo: Vancouver Island University, 2014.

Walton, Michael. The Greek Sense of Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy. London: Routledge, 2015.

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