Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

Leadership in Epic Literature: Rama and Sundiata College

Leadership is a prominent theme in both The Ramayana and Sundiata An Epic of Old Mali. A leader holds numerous qualities, whether they are skills that were developed or traits, that distinguish him or her from others. As and even before they undergo extreme situations, it is clear that both Rama and Sundiata possess the important qualities necessary in a leader - honor, altruism and the ability to form lasting alliances.

Rama behaves honorably by fulfilling his familial duties and fighting a fight fairly. King Dasaratha is renowned for staying true to his word and Rama is “blessed...to carry out his father’s command, and to live in the forests” (Narayan, 46). Although Rama’s exile is unreasonable, he still expresses gratitude to King Dasaratha and Kaiyeki because he believes that it his duty as a son to execute his family’s wishes. By carrying out this command, Rama fulfills this duty and ensures that his father does not break his promise to Kaiyeki. This is an act of honor because Rama puts his family’s needs before his own and he secures his father’s reputation. Furthermore, Rama behaves honorably on the battlefield in his fight against Ravana. Ravana has fainted in the middle of the battle and Rama says to Matali, “‘It is...

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