Fight in the Shade Essay

Submitted By rrobind
Words: 935
Pages: 4

Fight in the Shade
Movies allow us a visual insight on a certain event in history or an exciting book. Though movies offer action packed scenes, beautiful scenery that appeal to our desire to be there someday, and actors who seem almost super human, there also lies flaw compared to what may really be concrete. It begins to be difficult to realize what may or may not have happened when one would rather watch the movie than read the book or acquire knowledge pertaining to that event in history. When we watch a movie, there may be parts that are left out or a scene that is altered that may prove essential to the work as a whole. In the Battle of Thermopylae and the movie 300, directed by Zack Snyder, the Spartan king, Leonidas, led 300 Spartan men-at-arms, along with other Greek city-state allie,s in a battle against the Persians, led by Xerxes, in hopes of defending the straits of Thermopylae, also known as the “Hot Gates.” Though both the movie and the actual event exert the Spartans’ skillful military tactics, there were scenes in the movie that depicted these aspects differently than that of it’s realistic counterpart. In both the movie and the actual battle, the Spartans march north toward the “Hot Gates.” Specifically, King Leonidas chose among the citizens, 300 Spartan soldiers, who also are fathers of sons that will carry on the family name. When the Spartans arrived at the mouth of the strait, Xerxes sends a mounted spy to observe these Greeks. This action depicts the fear invoked within Xerxes and the cowardice character he hides behind his army. Still, he believed himself to be god, but had the fears of man. In the movie, the spy arrives to catch sight of the Spartans working diligently on a wall between the side of the strait’s wall and the cliff. The spy tries to convince the Spartans to surrender in order to avoid violent combat with the Persian army. Instead, they kill the spy, sending a message to the Persian king that blood will be shed. Even as they work on the wall, this shows that their strength is endless. As Spartans, there is an expectation to endure physical and mental situations. They are programmed to work, fight, and be on guard at any moment. On the other hand, what realistically happened was the wall has already been rebuilt and as the spy observes the Spartans encamped in front, they are simply enjoying the leisurely time they have before battle. The spy marvelled at this sight of this because it was expected, the spy was going to find them training endlessly. He took note of everything and was not pursued after when he quietly rode back to Xerxes to report what he had seen. This exhibits the life-long training of the Spartans. This may be the only time they are able to rest because Spartans train for this their whole lives. Though both scenes depict them in different situations, it still demonstrates their ability to quickly transform into fighting position. The encounter with the spy was merely how much of a force that should be reckoned with. The Persians greatly outnumbered the Spartans in size, but tactically, they proved insufficient to deliver. There was a reason why the Spartans fought in the narrow space of the strait. It was a way to destroy their enemy’s army inch by inch, while taking out vast numbers of the Persian soldiers. These characteristics match both the movie and the actual battle, but the difference was how they tactically fought against their…