Historical or Historical Fiction
Main Characters of Braveheart
Braveheart is supposed t o be the true story of William Wallace and his battle to free Scotland from English rule. Most of the characters in Braveheart are true historical characters, however, the manner in which they are portrayed in the movie, tends to lean a bit towards fiction. Little is know about the true history of Wallace.
Wallace was born around 1270 near Elderslie, in Paisley Parish. It is believed that he grew up living with his uncle, a priest. It is likely that his uncle taught him Latine, French, and some combat training. In the movie, Wallace is depicted as going to live with his uncle after his father is killed fighting the English. It is believed however, that his father was not killed until Wallace was in his early twenties. "It is likely that the death of his father at the hands of the English contributed to Wallace's lifelong desire to fight for his nation's independence"(Campbell). The movie would have us believe that Wallace, wanting to avenge the death of his wife, goes on a crusade to lead Scotland in to freedom. It is true that Wallace married a woman name Marian Braidfoot, in or around 1297, and she was put to death by the English sheriff of Lanark. It is believed, however, that the main reason she was put to death was because Wallace had already risen against the English. Wallace does become knighted around 1298, and is appointed the Guardian of Scotland, however after losing the battle of Falkirk, he resigns that position. Finally, in August of 1304, Wallace is captured by Sir Jon Mentieth near Glasgow. He is sent to England where he is put to death. The movie depicted Wallace as a man who believed in freedom for his people, and aside from a little embellishment, for the most part that was true.
William Wallace's beliefs are clear in what some have said was his favorite bit of
verse, originally in Latin: Freedom is best, I tell thee true,...