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Q3 Summative Essay: Leadership

(The Odyssey and Oedipus Rex)

The Prompt
What Makes Someone a Leader?
Define what makes a true leader. Then use text evidence

to argue to what extent Odysseus and Oedipus Rex meet or do not

meet those requirements. You may also incorporate personal
experiences into your writing.
ESSAY Requirements:
Essay Components:
Introduction (hook, background info, THESIS STATEMENT)
3 body paragraphs
super duper clear topic sentence that obviously connects to the
relevant textual evidence with lead-ins, transitions, and sourcing
(parenthetical or embedded citations required)
thorough and insightful analysis (you can play around with the
S/M/M order if youre ready)
Conclusion (revisit major claims, wrap up with an insightful/thought-provoking
closer, so what? connection to our world today)
Works Cited page (this will be provided for you)
Writing Focus Areas (in order of importance):
super duper coherent organization (thesis topic sentences matters)
effective use of transitions and varied lead-ins
sufficient analysis (dont just stop at 1 matters if what you have to say isnt
absolutely NO sentence fragments or otherwise obvious errors in sentence
structure, spelling, capitalization, etc. Did I mention that this is SUMMATIVE? ;-)
varied sentence structure
appropriate word choice (diction)
The Nuts and Bolts
What specific components do I need to include?
*MLA (header, heading, double space)
*12 pt. Times New Roman/Blue or black ink
*must include a minimum of 6 separate pieces of quoted textual evidence
*3rd person (he, she, they, the people, society, an individual, etc. No I, Me, We)
*Dont announce anything! Let your analysis do the talking!
*all brainstorming and building blocks are completed on time (FA)
*meets submission deadline (SEVERE penalty for late submissions) to BOTH G. Classroom & Turnitin

Emily Solomon
Mr. Girba

English 1H period 6
4 April 2016

What Creates a True Leader?

Its March 7, 1965, and men and women all over come down to Selma to start their march, and make a stand
for African Americans voting rights around the world. Six hundred of these marchers on Sunday March 7, walked
along the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only to get stopped by the violent state troopers who attacked these peaceful
marchers. Martin Luther King Jr., as the leader of this big movement, was able to pick his people back up after this
terrible event. He encouraged them to keep their heads held high and keep fighting for their rights. Throughout his
life, Martin Luther King Jr. exemplifies how a true leader should lead. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, written by
Homer, and the greek play, Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, Odysseus and Oedipus are two men who show a lot
of true qualities a leader should acquire. A true leader must exemplify confidence, obedience, and the ability to
inspire others; just as Oedipus and Odysseus demonstrate in the events that take place within their journey.
There are many ways to become a good leader, but one good quality a true leader should possess is
confidence. Odysseus shows confidence when he faces the giant cyclops, Polyphemus. My moment was at hand,
and I went forward holding an ivy bowl of my dark drink, looking up, saying: Cyclops try some wine. . . (Homer
121-123) Confident that his plan would work Odysseus went up to Polyphemus and again with confidence gave
him the wine. In this situation if Odysseus wouldnt have been confident enough then he wouldve never gotten out
of the cave with his crew. Additionally, his crew wouldnt trust him to get them out of the cave if he just
complained or was cowardly. Odysseus likewise had to be confident because Polyphemus wouldve seen past his
little game if Odysseus wasnt confident but doubtful. Another situation in which Odysseus had to show
confidence, was when Odysseus went down to the land of the dead. He went down into the land of the dead
because he was confident that Circe was telling the truth. Odysseus was confident that Circe was helping them find
a way home, and not lying. Odysseus was also certain that with Teiresias, the blind prophets help, he would be able
to find a way back home, just like Circe said. Confidence is key as a leader because if the leader has confidence
then his/her followers will become confident too. Oedipus shows a good quality of confidence when he accuses
Teiresias and Creon for plotting against him, For I would have you know I think you were complotter of the deed

and the doer of the deed save in so far as for the actual killing. (Sophocles 392-395) Although Oedipus was wrong
in his accusations he still had the confidence to speak against a prophet, and tell him whats on his mind. This
quality of confidence is very important because one cant let people just walk all over them, they have to stand up
to them and tell them what they think. It is a very important skill to have in order to say what you think. Leaders
have to share their opinions all the time, and they have to be confident enough to share their opinions, and not be
self conscious about their thoughts and or opinions. Therefore, Oedipus and Odysseus show their true leadership
through confidence. Likewise with confidence a true leader would be able to lead his or her people without a doubt.
To become a better leader one must first be able to obey the advice and or commands given. Oedipus shows
his obedience to the law he made, before he found the killer. Oedipus told his people that when he found the killer
he would drive him out of the city, so when he found out that he was the killer he said, I must obey, though bitter
of heart. (Sophocles 1706). Even though Oedipus didnt want to obey the law he had made because it would mean
he would have to leave the city he still obeyed. It is important to be obedient as a leader because the followers learn
by example, and if one sees the leader obeying the rules, then he or she would want to more fully obey the rules. In
The Odyssey, Odysseus leads by obedience a lot. When Odysseus got the prophecy from Tiresias about what to do
and what not to do, he obeyed the prophecy piece by piece, Old shipmates, our stores are in the ships hold, food
and drink; the cattle here are not for our provision, or we pay dearly for it. (Homer 853-856) Odysseus was given
the prophecy to not eat the cattle of the sun god because something bad would happen to him, so Odysseus obeys
that command and tells his crew not to eat the cattle. If Odysseus wouldnt have been obedient then when he ate
the cattle that was on the island for him he wouldve been punished for what he had done. Another instance when
Odysseus obeyed the commands given him for the sake of his crew, was when he was given instructions. He was
told to put beeswax in all of the crew's ears, and to tie himself up to a pole, he did that and explained I carried wax
along the line, and laid it thick on their ears. They tied me up, the, plumb amidships, back to the mast, lashed to the
mast, and top themselves again to rowing. (Homer 745-749) Odysseus followed these commands and was a good
example to his crew, of what an ideal leader is. If Odysseus had chosen not to obey Circes commands then his
whole ship wouldve been lost to the sirens. The advice given to Odysseus was wise. When one has obedience then
good things will come out of their decision. It is crucial for a leader to obey the advice or commands given to them,

because the advice or commands given to the leaders are not just suggestions, but come from wise men and women
who may have experienced what they have experienced before. Oedipus and Odysseus become the ideal leader
because they listen and obey to the advice, or commands received.
Furthermore, a leader's followers should feel inspired by him or her. Odysseus often inspires his crew when
they are distraught, friends have we never been in danger before this? . . . Did I not keep my nerve, and use my
wits to find a way out for us? (Homer 773-777). Odysseus inspires his crew by making them think about all the
bad times theyve been in, but have been able to push through. This causes the crew to become inspired to keep
their heads held high during the hard times, and to be able to finish what they started. The crew looks to Odysseus
as their leader, so they expect him to be able to pick them up and lead them. Sometimes a good pep talk is needed
to inspire a leader's followers. Odysseus then goes on later in the story, to inspire his crew once more, with the wise
words, Comrades, youve gone through everything listen to what I say. All deaths are hateful to us, mortal
wretches but famine is the most pitiful, the worst end that a man can come to. (Homer 880-884) Odysseus inspires
his crew by making the situation feel lighter. Instead of dwelling on the past, Odysseus inspires his crew to focus
on the future. As a leader one must be able to keep his followers up instead of down. Sometimes all that is needed
is some well thought out words that the followers will be able to take, and with those words be better and wiser. A
good leader should be able to inspire his people to do better. More people would willingly follow a leader if the
leader was inspiring and shared good words. If a leader wants the followers to follow him or her then a leader must
share some inspiring words.
Through the examples of Oedipus from the play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, and Odysseus, from
The Odyssey, written by Homer, one can conclude that a good leader is someone who is confident, obedient, and
inspirational. Oedipus shows his confidence by standing up to the giant cyclops, Polyphemus. Odysseus further
demonstrates his confidence when he stands up for himself against Teiresias. Later in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus shows
that he is obedient when he follows through with what he would do to the killer of Laius even when he found out
the killer was himself. Odysseus displays his obedience to all the advice and insight he received. Lastly, Odysseus
and Oedipus give inspiration to their teams when they are distraught. Oedipus and Odysseus show their true
leadership throughout their journeys, and trials. These leaders clearly demonstrate their ability to be confident,

obedient, and the ability to inspire others.

Work Cited

Kindig, Jessie. "Selma, Alabama, (Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965)." Blackpost.org. Humanities
Washington. Web.