300 Movie Essay

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“This is SPARTA!”
A wolf… large, black, with eyes aglow as if smoldering coals, lurking in the shadows of the snowy, desolate terrain. A small boy… frail to the eye, but skilled in his combat, watching the wolf and how it looks at him thirsting for blood. If the boy wishes to return to his people he must utilize all the skills he has learned up into this point. To come back to his people of Sparta as a man is his only wish. He is scarcely dressed, probably cold and tired, but expressions of emotion elude his face. With spear in hand he stalks the wolf as his prey. The boy waits for his perfect moment and takes out his target, honing his fear from deep within and using it to his advantage. Spartans are taught at a young to hone this fear, throughout 300 this is showcased.

300 tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Persians under the rule of King Xerxes have already taken over some of Greece’s city-states, and now threaten Sparta and Athens. A messenger sent by Xerxes attempts to present King Leonidas of Sparta with two options: either have to sacrifice the well-being of Sparta or have it burn to the ground. With submission not being an option, Leonidas forms an army of 300 Spartan warriors to block the narrow passage of Thermopylae where Xerxes intends to reach Hellas. The 300 are accompanied by about 1,000 Thespians and Akkadians who protect the flanks of the passage, and combined, the forces manage to slay tens of thousands of Persians and prevent their entry into Hellas for several days. However, Ephiattes, a reject of the Spartan Army gets his revenge by showing Xerxes a secret goat passage up the flanks of the Hot Gates. This movie depicts the epic last stand of the finest Spartan soldiers who are aware of their fate, but motivated by "honor and glory", see the battle as their duty to protect the rest of Greece for as long as possible. All Spartans ultimately knowing that their deaths were upon them, but leaving behind a tale of victory...
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