Comparing Leadership in Lady or the Tiger and The Odyssey

Categories: Odyssey

Great leadership skills include honesty, selflessness, inspiring others, commitment, good communication, accountability, and the ability to only use the power for good and never for selfish actions. With this being said in “The Lady or the Tiger”, a short fiction story, the story revolves around a semi-barbaric king in which he used his power for entertainment. The semi-barbaric king throughout the story demonstrated nothing but corrupt actions that pleased him. He should not be trusted and have his power taken away.

An example of his corrupt behavior can be seen when his thoughts on the matter are explained. The author asserts, “This vast amphitheatre, with its encircling galleries, its mysterious vaults, and its unseen passages, was an agent of poetic justice, in which crime was punished, or virtue rewarded, by the decrees of an impartial and incorruptible chance…

When a subject was accused of a crime of sufficient importance to interest the king, public notice was given that on an appointed day the fate of the accused person would be decided in the king’s arena,” (Stockton 5).

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The king believes that the justice is determined by chance which is wrong and definitely not a responsibility in which should be caused by power. Instead, his power should be used in a way that punishes the guilty and doesn’t put the same odds on the innocent’s plate. This form of entertainment he finds himself wanting is selfish because it’s benefiting himself and it definitely doesn’t help guide others. With this sort of “law” he has established, he surely does not prove that he can take the responsibilities that come with power, but instead displays how he avoids the responsibilities.

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However, others may claim that he handled the responsibilities well by creating a system where the person has a choice of their own. This can be found, “This was the king’s semi-barbaric method of administering justice. Its perfect fairness is obvious… He opened either he pleased… The decisions of this tribunal were not only fair-they were positively determinate,” (Stockton 6). These statements can portray that the king illustrated wit with this enactment he came up with to bring justice. There was no way of curving the system because it was either one option or the other. Thus, the king’s actions proved that instead of taking the responsibilities as a leader, he ignored them. This concludes the fact that having too much power can lead you to pushing other priorities aside and having your needs attended/fulfilled first.

As stated earlier, leaders all seem to share qualities in which make them great leaders. With this power comes some sort of responsibility however sometimes leaders take advantage of the power they have in their hands. In The Odyssey, in book 12; “The Cattle of the Sun”, Odysseus in multiple occasions wasn’t perceived as taking a hold of the responsibilities thrown his way. One example is when he states that he should be the one to listen to the sirens. Homer writes, “I alone was to hear their voices, so she said…” (Homer 12.174). Odysseus is the leader of this crew and he has the power to manipulate his men into doing whatever Odysseus wants them to do. Since Odysseus wants to listen to the sirens, but he has to keep his crew alive and safe he comes up with a plan to accommodate both sides. However this plan could have backfired and he could have put his men in danger. He has to demonstrate that he will put his men before him.

Nevertheless, others may claim that in other aspects he demonstrated well kept responses to the responsibilities of power. In one case, he did listen to Circe on not fighting Scylla which demonstrated that he can put his ego aside. As a leader his responsibilities here, were to choose the best possible option to have the best possible outcome. Stated in the text, “But now I cleared my mind of Circe’s orders…” (Homer 278.245). Even though Odysseus can be very egotistical, he does take into consideration the well being of others and does things for the greater good. In conclusion, Odysseus has verified that he cannot take all the responsibilities even when he tries. His power is not only used for some good, but for selfish needs that endanger others’ well beings. 

Updated: May 03, 2023
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Comparing Leadership in Lady or the Tiger and The Odyssey. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from

Comparing Leadership in Lady or the Tiger and The Odyssey essay
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