Cleon As A Leader Essay, Research Paper
Cleon as a leader:
Cleon was not a real leader but rather a ?false leader?. His leadership skills were the best for any citizen because he was said to be one of the most persuasive, hot tempered and trusted citizens of the time. Cleon was also thought to have mastered rhetoric speaking and to be a professed ?protector? of the common people. With this on his side he should be able to win just about any argument when the public is involved. The reason is that people are a lot more likely to agree with someone if they have something in common and understand their point of view. Cleon?s is seen as someone citizens can relate to and therefore tip the balance of the argument in his favor. But the initial problem is that he attacks the audience and angers them, which is not something he can afford to do. One of the worst things he said was that he doubted the ability of a democracy to hold an empire, this comment says to the audience that they are too stupid to make decisions that will affect them and need someone to do it for them. With the audience angered they look for someone who will get their hopes up which is Diodotus and he makes them feel better, so now they are on Diodotus side leaving Cleon with just his speaking abilities. Yet citizens do not have the same education and skill as a orator/prominent speaker. So Diodotus already has the upper hand with experience on his side and he used his experience to gain the audience that Cleon angered. Cleon obliviously looses the debate overall, which proves that he is a ineffective and deplorable leader. Although he does get some of what he wanted by a motion that passed after the debate he lost. The motion had Athenians execute the men that were most responsible for the revolt put to death (which was over 1000). In addition, the walls of Mytilene were torn down and the land was split into parcels that were put in a lottery for the Athenians. Overall Cleon is a leader better suited for a battle field and not a debate, because in a battle no one would think of being soft and so his speaking (verbal attacks) would incite high morale. The ironic thing is that Cleon gets beat at his own game, because Diodotus uses rhetoric speaking to win the debate, which is Cleon?s strongest type of speaking. Cleon is a real ?false leader?.