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Alexander the Great

Nov 04, 2008 2086 Words
Bataan Christian School
Panilao, Pilar, Bataan

A FILM REVIEW
ON
ALEXANDER

Presented by:
Jedd John A. Castillo
III-Lavoisier

Presented to:
Mrs. Vanessa H. Acuzar

Social Studies III

Date Presented
October 4, 2008

Setting ..

Library of Alexandria– Shepperton Studios, London, England •Pella/Babylon/Indian palaces and myths cave– Pinewood Studios, London, England •Alexandria (effect back plate)– Malta
Temple of Pallas Athena, Mieza and Macedonian horse market– Essaouira, Morocco •Gaugamela– desert near Marrakech, Morocco
Babylon gates– Marrakech, Morocco
Bactrian fortress– Lower Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Hindu Kush (effect back plate)– Himalayas, India
Macedonian amphitheater– Morocco
Hyphasis– Mekong, northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand.

Characters ..

*Alexander - He was one of the most successful military commanders of all time and is presumed undefeated in battle. *Olympias - was an Epirote princess, the fourth wife of the king Philip II of Macedon, the mother of Alexander the Great and queen consort of Macedon *Philip II of Macedon - king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336. He was the father of Alexander the Great, Philip III and possibly Ptolemy I, the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. *Hephaestion - son of Amyntor, was a Macedonian nobleman and a general in the army of Alexander the Great. He was "... by far the dearest of all the king's friends. *Darius III - was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia from 336 BC to 330 BC. He was deposed during Alexander the Great's conquest. *Roxana - was a Bactrian noble and a wife of Alexander the Great. *Ptolemy I Soter - was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great who became ruler of Egypt *Aristotle - was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. *Craterus - was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi. *Parmenion - was a Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great *Philotas - was the eldest son of Parmenion, Alexander's most experienced and talented general.

Plot ..

The film is based on the biography of Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon, the first Macedonian Emperor who conquered Asia Minor, Persia and eventually Ancient India. It provides a glimpse into some of the key moments of Alexander's youth, and his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire, until his death. It also outlined his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedonia, the conquering of the Greek city-states under the League of Corinth, and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his new plans to reform his empire, and the attempts made to reach the end of the world. The storyline begins in 356 BC with Ptolemy I Soter, who narrates the story throughout the film. In lavish sets and images Stone shows his vision of Alexander's daily life in the court of his father, Philip, and portraying the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. Late on, his relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus' niece, Eurydice. Thereafter Philip is assassinated and Alexander becomes king of Macedonia and the rest of Greece. After a brief mentioning of his punitive razing of Thebes and burning of Persepolis, Ptolemy gives an overview of Alexander's west Persian campaign, including his declaration to be the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela, and his eight-year campaign at Hydaspes against Porus in modern day Pakistan), both of which are shown in the film. The plot also illustrates Alexander's private relationship with his childhood friend, Hephaistion, and later his wife Roxanna until his death. Before succumbing to an unknown illness or poison (it is never revealed which and both are suggested) Alexander distanced himself from his wife Roxanna despite her being pregnant, believing she has killed his childhood friend Hephaistion. The film accurately places Hephaistion in a far closer position than his first wife Roxanna. It is suggested in the film that Alexander died in part due to the loss of Hephaistion, which occurred less than three months earlier. Early in the film Hephaistion compares Alexander to Achilles, to which Alexander replies that if he is Achilles then Hephaistion is his Patroclus (Achilles' cousin and supposed lover). Hephaistion mentions that Patroclus died first and then Alexander pledges that if he should die, he would follow him into the afterlife. A promise Ptolemy himself says Alexander apparently kept when he died shortly after Hephaistion. In the film after conquering Babylon Alexander admits that Hephaistion is the only person he loves. (no one can back up that Alexander was homosexual). During the film Hephaistion shows extensive jealousy when seeing Alexander with Roxanna and deep sadness when Alexander marries her, going so far as to attempt keeping her away from Alexander after the former murdered an old friend in India. The film also focuses intensively on the close and warped relationship Alexander shared with his mother Olympias.

Summary ..

Alexander was born in Macedonia in 356 BC. His father, King Philip II of Macedonia, hired the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle to tutor young Alexander. In the summer of 336 BC, Philip was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Alexander then became king. Many people in Macedonia plotted against the young king, but Alexander was shrewd. He quickly ordered the execution of all the conspirators. At the same time, some Greek cities ruled by Macedonia rebelled and others threatened to seek independence. Alexander crushed the rebellions and restored Macedonian rule. Next, in 334 BC, Alexander turned his attention toward the Persian Empire (now Iran) in southwest Asia. Alexander led Macedonian and Greek soldiers to attack Darius III, Persia’s king. Their armies met at Issus in Syria in 333 BC, and fought a fierce battle. Alexander won, and Darius fled. Alexander then led his soldiers south, into Egypt. Alexander seized power from the pharaoh, who ruled Egypt on behalf of the Persians. The grateful Egyptians saw Alexander as a person who freed them, and they crowned him pharaoh. At the mouth of the Nile River in northern Egypt, Alexander founded a new city. He named the city Alexandria, and it became a famous center of learning In 331 BC, Alexander led his troops back north into Persia. King Darius was eager for revenge. Alexander and Darius fought another great battle, this time at Gaugamela. Once again, Alexander won. The battle at Gaugamela ended centuries of Persian rule in Asia. Alexander then turned south and conquered other important Persian cities. At Persepolis, he burned down Darius’s palace to show he had conquered the Persian Empire. In 330 BC, Alexander went north to find Darius again. This time, Darius was killed by his own men as he fled.

Alexander was a military genius and a great explorer. But he also had a grand ambition. He wanted to rule a world empire where people could live in peace with one another. From 330 to 327 BC, Alexander led his soldiers east, through Afghanistan and into Central Asia. As he travelled, he built more cities. He recruited soldiers, merchants, and scholars from many lands to settle there. In 326 BC, Alexander turned south, into India. But by then his men were tired and weak. They were far from home in an unknown land. The soldiers rebelled and refused to go farther. Reluctantly, Alexander turned back. By 323 BC, he reached Babylon in Iraq. While there he caught a fever and died at the age of 33. His empire was divided among his generals.

Moral / Lesson

☺ The first moral / lesson in this film is to never dreamed of becoming as powerful as God because He is the only one no one compared with Him. Secondly is “power” is the counterpart of jealousy.

Comprehension Questions ..

1.)What characteristics of Alexander in his young age is being portrayed in the film? Did these characteristics still evident in his adult life? How? ☺ Even Alexander was only a child, you can clearly see his unique characteristics specially his braveness and genuine in terms of battle. ☺ Yes! He conquered half the globe because of his intelligent plans, braveness and his greatness in terms of ruling.

2.)How did Olympias influenced Alexander?
☺Olympias influenced Alexander by supporting him to his decisions and teaching Alexander the values of being a child, a man, and also a warrior.

3.)Did Philip have a good relationship with his son? Support your answer. ☺ At first Yes, because they are close to each other(a father and son relationship). Later on, his relationship with his father was destroyed when Philip married Euridice. And in the last part of Philip’s life, Alexander accepted what happened and their early relationship came back. 4.)Enumerate all the lands being conquered by Alexander.

☺ Alexander conquered Asia Minor, Persia and eventually Ancient India.

5.)Did the wife of Alexander became an asset or liability to him? How? ☺ No, Hepastion was the only person loved by Alexander.And Roxana(his wife) was just like an ordinary person to him.

6.)How was the vast empire of Alexander divided?
☺ After Alexander died, the vast empire he conquered including Macedonia were divided to his four generals.

7.)In the film, the eagle soars high over the vast army of Alexander during one of his conquest. What does the eagle symbolize in lieu with Alexander’s characteristics as a man, a leader, and a warrior? ☺Alexander as a man is great compared to an eagle flying in the air. An eagle when flying covers a large part of land by it’s shadow likewise to Alexander’s genius leadership. Even Alexander is only one he can rule properly and control his vast army and lead it to victory.

8.)One of the themes or universal truth of the film is “ The thirst for power and it’s consequences”. In not less than 400 words explain the said theme. ☺ For me the theme or universal truth in the film, “The thirst of for power and it’s consequences” means that having a power is having a responsibilities. Just like the sayings in Superman “great powers come great responsibilities” which means If you got power expect that there are consequences like protecting people, beating bad guys, and preserving peace. Similar in the film Alexander, we know that Alexander was very powerful at that time that the other people consider him as a God. But as he got this power he must face the risk. One is he must protect his army whatever happens. Also as a king he must do his best to achieve peace, prosperity, and love in his land. And the main problem or consequence on having superiority is jealousy. Many powerful people died not in battle but because of jealousy of others to their power. Examples are Alexander the great and Julius Caesar. Although the death of Alexander is unknown if due to illness or poison. Some historians thought that its poison that killed Alexander. The suspects are his generals and other officials. It is said that his men are so jealous to Alexander due to his success and supreme power. So they tried to kill him by adding poison to his wine when they are in Macedonia after the battle in Ancient India. Alexander died and his vast empire were divided to his generals.

Same as Julius Caesar, he was also a genius in conquering lands as Alexander. Caesar had an absolute power in his time and also because of that “power” opposition against him grew. Some denounced him as a tyrant, while others were jealous of his popularity. On March 15, 44 Before Common Era, he was stabbed to death. I knew that having a power is awesome and great but too much of it may lead to disaster. A taste of it is enough because as your power increases the risk increases too as well as your enemy. And sadly even the one you trust and love can lie and sell your friendship to get only your power. Once I read a book about power, and it stated that no one can ever have an absolute powers because all these powers belong to God. And also thre’s no one can compare to Him. That’s all. And that’s my own explanation to the atatement “The thirst for power and it’s consequences”. I hope you understand what I am trying to say or point out. Hehe . Again thanks for reading. God bless.

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