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Battle of Thermopylae Essay

The motion picture 300 is a fictitious narrative of the historical Battle of Thermopylae. The story begins with a narrative about Spartan King, Leonidas, born and chosen to be the next king. By Spartan law, he is examined of any deformation and flaw. This is for the purpose of maintaining tha continuity of the Spartan warrior society. Upon reaching a reasonable age, the elders send young Leonidas into the wilderness at 7, to pit with nature’s wrath and test his skills.

Years after his return, Leonidas’ kingship and the whole of Sparta is threatened by Xerxes’ hopes of ruling the entire world. Leonidas consequently refuses to give in and slaughters the Persian representatives. As a preventive move, Leonidas gathers 300 of his finest soldiers to set in a last-man-standing match against a huge number of Persian forces. As the battle takes place, Queen Gorgo, Leonidas’ wife, argues with the Spartan senate to acquire contingency forces for her husband’s meager army.

300 is a film of explicit violence and gore, it has numerous themes incorporated in a unique presentation. 300 gives out a sense of leadership, self-sacrifice, comradery, and respect in various forms of relationships. The film however makes its way to the audience with an outrageous manifestation of racism including gender and national arrogance. Leonidas shows the virtue of leadership as he thinks of his people’s welfare if a Persian invasion happens. Before he finishes his talk with Xerxes’ messenger, he is clearly convinced that his people do not deserve suffering and slavery.

He even defied the very laws of his own kingdom to protect his people from the threats of the Persian empire. Self-sacrifice, as the word suggests is the willingness to give up one’s life for the benefit of another. In the motion picture, Leonidas and the 300 soldiers are remarkable as they willingly lay their lives on the line for the safety and glory of Sparta. The 300 Spartan warriors, despite their disadvantage in numbers, are devoted to stopping the enslavement of their homeland and unmindful of the large armies of the Persian empire.

Leonidas tendencies of self sacrifice marks his leadership, the brave king does not let the vast number of Persian forces distract his focus. Leonidas also boosts his men’s confidence in order to eliminate fear in the soldiers’ hearts and minds. Furthermore, Leonidas leads practically by example giving his soldiers the comfort that their brave king is with them even in the face of certain death. Leonidas shows comradery and respect by knowing the full capabilities of his army and by his treatment to his wife.

In most occasions, he always considers his wife first before anyone or anything else. The Spartan King gives equal tratment to his wife and does not see womanhood as a person’s flaw . Leonidas also respects his men in the manner of how he considers them as people and not as expendable soldiers in a battlefield. What is more compelling is that Leonidas does not enter a battle for personal gain, as it is reiterated that he does not ask for song, or poems of heroism and valor, but only a simple remembrance of their sacarifice for Sparta’s cause.

Comradery and respect is also seen on the character of Dilios who has become more eager to deliver his King’s last order and on honoring his comrads’ sacrifice. Moreover, Dilios gathered a huge number of forces to stop the Persian invasion, and he does it without interest for personal glory, but only to fulfill his promise to his king. Racism concerns numerous aspects such as economics, institutions, and ethnicity among others and can be defined in the legal and social field (Ewan & Ewan, 2006). Though there is difference between the two points of recognition, racism still involves prejudice and hatred.

Racism basically is a particular race’s point of view considering themselves superior to other races. This sentiment initially starts once the idea of differences between racial groups emerge (Ewan & Ewan, 2006). In a first glance 300 may appear as an ordinary popcorn movie for bloodthirsty viewers, but the film’s progression shows several alarming scenes that prove to be offensive to a number of people. As the film depicts, Leonidas welcomes his Persian guests with arrogance, violence, and deadly threats.

A look at this account may provide an idea of nationalism, but a closer look may see Leonidas making it ckear that the supreme white race of Sparta will never bow down to a “lowly” Persian. One of the film’s racist indication is on Xerxes, his appearance is the furthest look a Persian can have. The self proclaimed god king does not show any indication of being a Persian man, let alone, a ruler. Persians live in the Middle East, therefore, they have their distinctions as far as appearances are concerned.

Both in the film and in historical accounts, Xerxes is Persian, but the film shows a white giant of a tyrant threatening to wipe out any person who does not follow what he wants. How convenient is it to witness a white Persian king telling half of the world that resistance to his will is equivalent to death. In connection, Spartan ethnic nationalism is also rampant and uncontrollable throughout the motion picture. First is credited to their overestimation of Spartan fighting ability, most of the Persian armies are the lauging stocks of the Spartan army.

Spartans only make their arrogance more evident on their indirect insult to the skills of their own allies, the Arcadians. The nationalistic supremacy is furthered by the first Spartan-Persian encounter. The battle which is more of a massacre goes to show that white Spartans are the greatest among other nations. Persians, though massive in numbers, are shown as exemplifications of mediocrity and inferiority in words and actions. In addition, the Spartans appear to be the epitome of nobility and valor despite their inhumane knack for senseless violence.

In another note, the film shows some mild accounts of sexism on females members of the Spartan society. Sexism is usually described as resentment over people because of their gender. Sexism also concerns any points of sexual difference among individuals, the differences include physical prowess, mental ability, and technical know-how. Sexism is popularly noted to be any form of supression on women, since most cases account for such incidents, but as the term suggests, sexism also happens to males and honosexuals (Monroe, 2002).

Most societies throughout history have deemed women as either second-class citizens or weaker gender. Such perspectives of women are most evident in account that they are not recognized as people, thereby depriving them of rights indicated in the nation’s law (Monroe, 2002). Females being considered the weaker sex are also the most probable recipients of domestic violence, insult, and prostitution (Monroe, 2002). It may appear normal to treat women unequally, considering the film’s time setting. The film is conversely given a modern treatment in most elements such as language and theme.

In this context, it is questionable as to why the film includes several sexist approaches to women which can be ommited without taking effect on the plot or the story development of the film. The stereotypical female suppression and abuse is seen in the entire film. It is very obvious that the visiting Persian messenger questions the Spartan queen’s intervention in his conversation with Leonidas. Womanhood is once again suppressed when queen Gorgo tries to reason with the senate regarding support troops for Leonidas.

It is true that she is given ample time to speak her heart out, on a crowd who refuses to listen simply because Gorgo is a woman. Plus the mere fact that the queen has given something in exchange for talk-time in the Spartan council. Another is on the film’s oracle, yes the oracle lady is pleasing to the eye, but the idea of a woman being molested in what is said to be a form of consultation is absurd. One is that the oracle started diseminating messages after being licked by one of the ephors, its both unrealistic and senseless considering the film’s serious mood.

The sexist theme is furthered by Xerxes’ representative who promised to deliver fresh oracles daily, it simply notes women as nothing more than commodities for man’s consumption. 300 is a motion picture that, though fictional, leaves an impression to the viewers. Regardless if it is positive or negative, the film depicts the assets of liabilities of humanity from a historical perspective. The motion picture may give out negative implications about issues, but it also gives a positive thought that can guide a person. In any case, the movie shows how man has changed overtime and that the mistakes are never to be repeated.

The film also depicts certain issues that man has experienced since the ancient times which are still unresolved today. 300 can be a good or a bad movie, it just depends on how a viewer understands it. References Ewen, S. , & Ewen, E. (2006). Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality. New York: Seven Stories Press. Monroe, K. , R. (2002). Political Psychology. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Nunnari, G. , Canton, M. , Goldman, B. , Silver, J. (Producers), & Snyder, Z. (Director). (2007). 300 [Motion Picture]. Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers.


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