The 300 Movie Battle of Thermophylae: The Necessary Sacrifice of a Great Leader and His Loyal Men

Categories: Film Analysis

Leonidas is one of the legendary kings of Sparta that possesses a good quality of a leader that can be seen in his actions and decisions during his time and by the outstanding support given by his men as written in the history of Greek, Knowing that they are outnumbered by the Persian invaders in the great Battle of Thermopylae and yet continue fighting for them to suppress the enemy in crossing the narrow pass of Thermopylae shows the extreme dedication of King Leonidas in protecting his countrymen thus sacrificing his life as well as the few of his men, The Spartans show their superior ability to fight and manage to block the passage from the Persian invader for a few days as previewed from the movie 300 and killing significant number of the enemy.

They were able to hold the narrow pass until the Persian finds another way to circle the Greeks because of a traitor named Ephialtes, who told the Persian that there is another secret passageway King Leonidas is a good leader of the Sparta.

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He is a brave warrior who is more than willing to die with his men in the field of war.

He is a king who serves his country very well by sacrificing his own life in order to protect his countrymen from the Persian invasion. He even requested the other Greek armies to leave the battle, Leonidas together with the three hundred of his men and other troops. Thespian, Theban and Mycenaean stayed in the battle field, They choose not to leave in order to protect the other for the safe withdrawal His decision in this battle shows his extraordinary fidelity to his countrymen as their leader, King Leonidas’ men show noteworthy loyalty to him I think a significant factor that drives the loyalty to King Leonidas of his men is earned by his actions.

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Given that his army stayed with him in the war field knowing that they will die without winning the battle shows their significant loyalty. I believed that even if Leonidas is not the king during that time, he will still receive the loyalty of these soldiers following his belief system.

As cited from an article “Leonidas“, posted on Totallyhistorycom, “the belief system was disgraceful for Spartans to return home during a war, so, either they returned with a victory for their empire or not return at all.“ It does matter that the loyalty is achieved by leader’s action. In the case of King Leonidas, he was sent to go through the military training that is customary of all Spartan citizens since that originally, he was not chosen to be the king of Sparta because he has older brothers. His men saw Leonidas bravery, courage and commitment as a warrior during this training with the other Spartan soldiers and during the war they have been before he became the king, His actions during these days may significantly contribute to the excessive loyalty given to him by his men. Examining the scene early in the movie where Leonidas has the confrontation with the messenger and his party, I may do the same as what he did.

I will resist on surrendering and I will do whatever I could to protect my country It is very important that Leonidas shows resistance in this situation proving that he as a king of Spartans has the courage to resist any attempt by Persian invasion. On the other hand, I disagree on what Leonidas did to the Persian messenger. I believe that killing the messenger significantly caused the Persian Empire to pursue the invasion more aggressively and without hesitation of killing every Greek army that comes in their way. Observing the powerful non-verbal communication between King Leonidas and the Queen, if the queen had shaken her head instead of nodding in approval might change the way Leonidas acted that time Maybe Leonidas will resist on surrendering, but will let go of the messenger. I observe in King Leonidas’ expression during that scene that he is weighing what to do.

He looked to his people thinking of what is the right thing to do that will most benefit his people. But upon looking for his queen and conversing non-verbally, the simple queen’s nod has possibly made his action more aggressively that led the Persian messenger who demanded their surrender to be thrown in the well. 1 strongly believe that during that time the nod of approval her queen did significantly affect King Leonidas’ decision on how he will treat the messenger. In the scene where the meeting between the Leonidas and the deformed Spartan who wanted to be part of the battle group, the way Leonidas handled the deformed Spartan may have affected their will of participation in the battle.

The effect of his way of handling this meeting may vary depending on different degrees of loyalty of the individual to the country or to their levels of commitment to join the battle if you observe how Leonidas handle the deformed Spartan, it may look that he doubts the soldier’s ability, but in fact for me, he did this for able him to raised everyone’s aggressiveness to fight not as ordinary worker but a true Spartan warrior. Moreover, the Spartan had been trained mentally and physically since childhood in preparation to become a warrior, the way Leonidas handles this meeting may result to the raise the aggressiveness of the deformed Spartans to join the battle. As observed in the scene in the movie during the Battle of Thermopylae significant loyalty were shown by the deformed Spartans that refused to leave even if King Leonidas requested them to leave the battle.

They opted to fight with King Leonidas and with his three hundred men They choose to stay and help the others to block the passage of the remaining Persian invaders. At the end of the great Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas together with his three hundred loyal Spartan soldiers was killed on the battlefield by the Persian invaders. They failed to suppress the Persian invaders in crossing the narrow pass yet for my own perspective, Leonidas and his men did not die in vain. By sacrificing their lives for the sake of protecting the withdrawal of the other Greek soldiers that will defend the rest of his countrymen, he and his men became heroes of the ancient Greeks.

Updated: May 07, 2023
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The 300 Movie Battle of Thermophylae: The Necessary Sacrifice of a Great Leader and His Loyal Men. (2023, May 07). Retrieved from

The 300 Movie Battle of Thermophylae: The Necessary Sacrifice of a Great Leader and His Loyal Men essay
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