The events that take place on the island of Cicones reveal Odysseus’ flaws in two ways. First, in his vanity, he wishes to make an impression that will last long in the minds of men, and he therefore leads his men in a rampage against innocent people in order to plunder their wealth. The treasure could have been taken without wholesale murder and enslavement but Odysseus is accustomed to thinking of himself as a great hero and indiscriminately applies his wartime practices of kill or be killed. To be so unnecessarily violent says a lot about Odysseus and his wrong assumption that because of who he is, it is perfectly ...
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...is own benefit, both in wealth and reputation, in mind. Odysseus will do anything to protect his image as a great and wise leader, including lying and falsely accusing his own men and, in desperation, even the gods. While Odysseus and many readers of The Odyssey regard him as an admirable and selfless leader, he demonstrates that he is inconsistent with thinking of anyone besides himself. Furthermore, his hubris prevents him from recognizing his own carelessness as a leader and eventually results in the crew’s tragic deaths. Odysseus becomes blinded by his own admirable qualities and successes in war and fails to address effectively both the obstacles at hand during his journey back to Ithaca and the well-being of the men under his command. While many factors contribute to the failure of Odysseus as a leader, at the heart of them all underlies his fatal pride.
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