Olga's Revenge

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Ellen Gude
Russian Civ
Matthew Johnson

Evidence of Autocracy in Igor’s Death and Olga’s Revenge
The tale of “Igor’s Death and Olga’s Revenge” is a story about a leaders failure after taking advice from his people and the steps his wife takes in order to get revenge. This text demonstrates autocracy as a cultural value. The author of the Primary Chronicles clearly states the importance of autocracy to the people and how it is more beneficial.

The tale begins with the death of Igor. In the two short paragraphs containing the death of their leader language to glorify him is never used. There is no evidence of their respect for their leader. The sentences are also short and to the point as if they are trying to get through this section to get to the real story (54).

In the tale they speak of Igor taking the advice of his people. “ ‘Go forth with us, O prince after tribute, that both you and we may profit thereby.’ Igor heeded their words, and he attacked Dereva in search of tribute” (54). In the next paragraph Igor is killed as if listening to his people is the cause of his death. Once again the author does not glorify his death or speak of the battle they just say he is still buried there today. If a leader should, even for a moment, use a democracy it will not end well. It is the leaders job to do it all on their own.

You can see the importance of autocracy in the contrast of how they talk about Olga compared to the short excerpt of Igor. With Igor they use phrases such as: “assistance of his followers”(54) or “a few of his vassals”(54), indicating the assistance he required from his people. But in all of Olga’s triumph’s they never lead on to her receiving help from anyone. When describing Olga they use words such as: “ordered them” (57) or “gave command” (56). They rarely even talk about her troops who obviously had to do all of the grunt work to successfully accomplish Olga’s plans. They want emphasize that Olga’s triumph was...
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