Essay about Lack of a Leader in Homer´s The Odyssey

Essay about Lack of a Leader in Homer´s The Odyssey

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Leaders are the basis of modern day society. A leader is necessary to keep the citizens in order, and make sure they pertain to the rules. However what happens when there is no leader? Then there is mass chaos, no one is in charge and thus the average citizen is allowed to do anything that they want. Homer displays this in The Odyssey, where the breakdown of society is caused by the loss of a leader, and that causes chaos, aggression, and selfishness from the characters.

Homer shows the loss of a leader creates a breakdown of society, by comparing and contrasting the two cities of Sparta and Ithaca. As seen on Ithaca, without a leader the entire island has gone into mass chaos, with suitors overrunning the island trying to become king, and because Telemachus is to young to try and fight all of the suitors. He is forced to deal with the chaos that the hundreds of suitors bring. Even Athena the goddess of planning and structure sees the need for a real leader in Ithaca “bitterly you need Odysseus” (l.162) However, Sparta who has a leader is a thriving society. This is seen when the king Menelaus, and his wife invite Telemachus into the palace. We see that Sparta has never been in a better place. From the feast that is partaking, to the dancing citizens. It is shown to us by Homer that when a leader leaves and never returns, the government and structure is lost, and that government is replaced with an overall state of chaos. However when there is a leader in place, it is shown that the civilization will thrive and flourish.

Along with the loss of a leader, aggression is created. The Suitors are used as the first example of aggression, when they get word that Telemachus is coming back from Sparta with the news that Odysseus is ...


... middle of paper ...


...l.107) for her thought to be dead husband. However the suitors soon learn that she plans to never finish the shroud so that she will never have to marry any of the suitors. The suitors are able to be so selfish because there is no leader to tell them otherwise. Without a leader the society crumbles into the making of selfish people, who only care about what they want and how they can obtain it.


Society is sometimes thought of as a clock, everything and everyone has an order and a place. Everything also has to work in perfect harmony and fit in exactly with each and every piece. However when one piece is out of order, or one part is lost, the clock won’t work anymore. When you take away the leader in society, it is like taking the hands off of a clock. This is what happens to Ithaca without a leader the island falls into a downward spiral of chaos and disaster.

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