Lack Of A Leader In Homer´S The Odyssey

944 words - 4 pages

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 still alive. Instead of being overjoyed at the news, they plan to ambush Telemachus ship in order to make sure that they can still have a chance in obtaining the crown to become king of Ithaca. “ I’ll intercept him, board him in the strait between… He’ll find his sea adventure after his father swamping work in the end” (l.716-720). Here the suitors are using a mob mentality to go and attack Telemachus ship, here we see that because of the lack of government the suitors are able to do whatever they please. The last example of aggression comes during the meeting that was brought to order by Telemachus to talk to the suitors about their wrong doings. When Telemachus is asked to “ hand over Penelope to her father” (l.379). He absolutely refuses to, and the suitors begin to gang up on him...

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