Part A) "Kingdom of Heaven"
1. Why were people fleeing Europe to join the Crusades?
People were fleeing Europe to join the Crusades in search of fortune or salvation. Europe was in a state of disease, poverty and famine; the people suffered greatly. During the Middle Ages, illness and misfortune was considered punishment from God for sins committed. It was thought that in order for people to be free of their despairs they had to ask for forgiveness and find salvation. That was why many people joined the Crusades, to redeem themselves in the eyes of God. Another reason for people to join the Crusades was for adventure, or a new chance at a better life. Men were often discontent and wanted to partake in war and be a hero. The land of Jerusalem also meant new opportunity, a place to set off to and forget the life left behind.
2. What did the church do with people who committed suicide?
During the reign of the Catholic Church, suicide was an unforgivable sin. It was an act against God and it robbed Him of His command over life. Those who commit suicide were unworthy of a Christian burial. As further punishment, the church had the heads cut off of all suicide victims so that they would have to suffer hell without a head.
3. What does the priest tell Bailiam to do to save his wife from her sins?
Bailiam's wife would be damned to hell because she committed suicide. The priest told Bailiam that if he joined the Crusades, he might gain forgiveness for his wife's sin and allow her to enter heaven. The only way to save her soul was to fight in God's name.
4. Why does Bailiam kill the priest?
The priest was openly mocking his wife's death. He came into the scene telling Bailiam that God had abandoned him and as the priest was saying with a smirk "she is in hell, don't know what she'll do without a head." Bailiam noticed that he was wearing her necklace. The priest had not only stolen his wife's necklace right off her dead body, he also mocked the fact that she is headless and in hell. I'd kill him too.
5. Why does Bailiam join the Crusades?
Bailiam decides to join his father because he just killed a priest. Not only does he need to run from the village, he now must ask for forgiveness for both his and his wife's sins. It was believed that Jerusalem was the "center of the world for asking forgiveness", for Bailiam, he had nothing left for him in his village, where better to go?
6. Combat in Medieval Times:
Combat was brutal. It was kill or be killed. To be successful in combat, you needed to be steady, strong, clever, and have courage. All throughout the movie you can see examples of fearless men who lived in a time when death was greatly part of everyday life.
In large battles, those who had victories were strong willed and used ingenuity. Marking the distances out on the soon to be battle field gave the defenders of Jerusalem an upper hand, as did finding a way to tip the tall towards attacking the walls.
In man on man combat, a lot could depend on the stance and the way a sword was held. For example, one of the strongest stances was called the High Guard. This position had the sword raised above the head, arms making a triangle form, feet well grounded, and knees bent for balance. From this position attacks could easily be blocked and countered. Bailiam is often seen using this formation. When he finds the knight in the desert who fights him, he starts off with this High Guard position, and blocks the spear and easily rebounds to ward off the second attack. Hence this formation was even successful against warriors on horse.
In general, to be successful in combat you had to know what you had, what you could use. You had to always keep your eyes open and be quick on your toes.
7. "To kill an infidel is not murder, it's a path to heaven."
This quote is propaganda at its finest. What is good for one is good for all. What is true for one is true for all. This quote is...
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