Analysis of Braveheart

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  • Topic: Braveheart, William Wallace, Mel Gibson
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  • Published : September 8, 2012
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Cinema Papers
“For Freedom”
By Daniel Neill
“It’s all for nothing, if you don’t have freedom”, the courageous William Wallace speaks in the captivating movie Braveheart. Braveheart is directed by Mel Gibson, starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace as well. This Box office hit had earned over two hundred and ten million dollars, with many awards which closely followed including, five Oscars and a Golden Globe to name a few. But how is William Wallace constructed as the hero in this historical film? William Wallace is a young Scottish rebel, who leads a rebellion against the English and their cruel king Edward the Longshanks. When the English decides to take the life of his wife, he then leaves his hometown for the long quest to give Scotland its freedom. Through this he inspired the fellow Scottish rebels to take back Scotland at the cost of his life. William Wallace is portrayed as the stereotypical traditional hero according to the criteria discussed in the article by Margery Hourihan, which include being European, strong, brave, skilful, and rational and dedicated. Wallace shows these heroic qualities in the scene of the battle of Stirling Bridge. Before this fight Wallace came in delivering an inspiring speech, which is known throughout the world, and during this he even found satire at the frightful moment before battle. During this fight, as well as being cocky, Wallace shows his tactical skill, through his commands to flank the English with the cavalry and to use spears to take down the heavy armoured cavalry which hadn’t been defeated in centuries. Just as Wallace fulfils the expectation of a stereotypical hero in terms of physique and appearance, he also completes the criteria of his journey that Lachlan Campbell had identified in his article 12 stages of the hero’s journey. Campbell has pinpointed a number of key steps of the hero’s journey, many of which are evident in Braveheart. Hamish, Wallace’s closest friend, a noble ally in his wars, was also a...
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