Accuracy of Alexander in Oliver Stone's Alexander (2004)

Topics: Alexander the Great, Military, Jhelum River Pages: 4 (1421 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Oliver Stone’s Alexander and it’s Accuracy in portraying Alexander the Great

The 2004 film Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, depicts the life of Alexander the Great. This essay will discuss the accuracy of Oliver Stone’s artistic vision in this depiction of Alexander’s life and achievements. The discussion will focus on: Alexander’s 7 year campaign, particularly its battles; his relationship with others, including his sexuality within the film; and the legacy Alexander and his armies left on the world.

Historically, there are many omissions within Oliver Stone’s Alexander, however, the majority of these are accounted for through Stone’s artistic vision. Many minor campaigns during the 7 year period were completely left out, and only two battles were shown throughout the movie. Within these two battles, many major components of other battles were in some way conflated so as to equate to having experienced those battles as well, since if Stone were to include every battle, not only would the film be far longer than its current form, but it would also have required a much larger budget. This absence of battles is the major inaccuracy in Stone’s Alexander. Whilst Stone only conveys two battles in the movie, history conveys that Alexander participated in a vast quantity of battles, pitched battles as well as sieges, throughout the 7 year march. Stone choice in depicting only these two battles of the many others was through his aim to convey the key points of Alexanders major campaigns in a condensed form as possible. Whilst the battles themselves were inaccurate, many of these inaccuracies were choices of Stone’s.

The main inaccuracy for the the Battle of Gaugemela, the first battle depicted in Alexander, is the Persian army itself. Alexander shows them as a disorganised rabble, when, historically, the Persians would have been exceedingly well organised. Members of the Persian army would have had uniforms, rather than the variable clothing they wore, and...
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