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A Comparative Analysis of the Movie 300 and Herodotuss The Persian Wars - Essay Example

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The movie recounts the tale of the legendary last stand of the Greek army against the massive Persian army at the Thermopylae pass in 480 B.C., a war of unmatched valor, and one which has been immortalized within Western civilization. …
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A Comparative Analysis of the Movie 300 and Herodotuss The Persian Wars
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"A Comparative Analysis of the Movie 300 and Herodotuss The Persian Wars"

Download file to see previous pages However, the movie committed major deviations from Herodotus’s historical accounts of the Persian Wars. This paper attempts to discuss the differences between the film 300 and Herodotus’s account of the last stand at Thermopylae in terms of military tactics, naval engagements, and religion. In the movie, the King of Sparta, Leonidas, and his best soldiers confront Xerxes’s enormous army at the northern Greece’s narrow pass and courageously restrain the Persians. And the age-old motivating importance of sacrifice has been preserved. Hence, for people who think that the merit of a film is established firmly by its episodes, and that the value of its rhythm, visuals, acting, screenplay, and historical accuracy are merely icing in the cake, the 300 will be worth a watch. However, for people who think that rhythm, visuals, acting, screenplay, and historical accuracy represent the true success of film, that a setting is merely the objective, and that the objective should never be confused with the action, the 300 is a quite worthless film. Military Tactics In the film 300 Leonidas is depicted as planning to carry his 300 elite soldiers to Thermopylae to crush the Persian army and stand up for freedom. Leaving behind the unsophisticated principle of justice, rationality, and freedom—the Spartans, similar to other Greeks, had a history of trying to subjugate if not really colonize other populations when it served their goals—it is nonsensical to propose that an exceptional Spartan commander like Leonidas would think that his elite army of 300 could spoil the ambitious goal of tens of thousands of Persian soldiers. The enthusiasm of Leonidas is not convincing or believable. The real last stand of the 300 as a hold-back strategy is historical and plausible. Some of the depictions of the military strategy are historically inaccurate. For instance, the filmmakers chose to reduce the Spartan body armors to their symbolic and basic aspects: weapons, shields, cloak, and headdress. The outcome is superhuman images, hoplites stripped of body armors. Any Greek fighter would refuse to go to war without some kind of upper body shield. There are other historical inaccuracies. Ephialtes, the Greek who double-crossed the Greek army, is shown as a badly misshapen Spartan recluse whose betrayal stems from the refusal of Leonidas to permit him to take part in the battle. Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, who was trivially mentioned in the historical accounts, is granted with a very important role. The domestic political schemes in Sparta are entirely fictional. The route at Thermopylae is depicted as an extremely constricted crevice between upright rock faces. The Greek forces are depicted advancing south of Sparta but Thermopylae is located at the northern part of Sparta. Illusory creatures appear every now and then, like the giant elephants and rhinoceros, at the battle. These are imaginary additions. The documentary The Last Stand of the 300 accurately describes the military strategies at Thermopylae. Most of the descriptions are in line with Herodotus’s accounts. The Greek army positioned themselves in a phalanx, a fortification of encrusted spearpoints and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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