Odyssey Research Paper
In Homer’s, The Odyssey, Odysseus repeatedly excels with leading his shipmates back home to Ithaca. He excels in this because of his ability to be a leader and his ability to keep information on a need-to-know basis.
Odysseus led his crew past the Isle of the Sirens. When Odysseus and his crew went by the Isle of the Sirens the Sirens sang their beautiful song and none of Odysseus’s crew heard the song and wanted to go to the island and to their death. If anyone heard the Siren’s song they would steer the boat towards the island where the person would die a horrible death. Odysseus led his crew by putting wax in their ears so they would not hear the song and die a horrible death.
Odysseus also led his men when they were stuck in a Cyclops’ (Polyphemus) cave and would not be able to move the stone which was blocking the entrance and exit to the cave. If Odysseus let his men kill Polyphemus they would be stranded in the cave and die of starvation. Odysseus had his men blind Polyphemus so he could not see but still could move the stone and Odysseus and his crew could escape to their ship.
Odysseus does a great job of keeping information on a need-to-know basis. Odysseus knows that Scylla and Charybdis will be a great obstacle. Scylla is a six-headed monster who lives in a cave near the Strait of Messina, and Charybdis is a whirlpool who swallows the sea 3 times a day and spits it up fiery hot. Charybdis lives on the opposite side of the Strait of Messina than Scylla. Odysseus had a choice to make to either lose six men to Scylla’s six heads or lose his whole crew to Charybdis. He chose Scylla and kept the information about where they would be going so that none of his men would go under deck and leave the ship to get caught by Charybdis. When Odysseus and his crew came to the Strait they went towards Scylla and none of Odysseus’s crew saw the monster until she struck and swallowed Odysseus’s six best men.