Accuracy Of The Film 300 Essay

1216 words - 5 pages

The Real Sparta and The Movie 300The idea of a Spartan warrior has been glorified many times throughout the ages. When one thinks of a Spartan, the image of a strong and fear inspiring warrior immediately come to mind. It is no wonder that Hollywood took that image, and made it into a movie. Beyond the epic battles sequences, and the memorable war cries of Leonidas, the movie does attempt to stay fairly true to Spartan life. Before the film sets into the main battle portion of the movie, it really takes its time to introduce the viewer into the different aspects of Spartan society; which is a culture that is very alien to most westerners. By today's standards, Spartan culture would seem very backwards, and almost barbaric; however, every Spartan institution, as radical as it may seem, had a reason behind it, and was geared towards the elevation of the Spartan state. The movie 300 gives an excellent representation of the Spartan Ethos and way of life; With the exception of a few small inaccuracies.One of the main Spartan institutions which the film makers displayed was the Spartan agoge, or military school. This was a cornerstone in Spartan society. The Spartans enslaved other Greek peoples to do their farming, and support the state of Sparta. This allowed for them to concentrate all their energy in training for war. In Sparta, military service was mandatory. Children started at the age of seven, and membership was for life. At the age of seven, these young boys would be pushed to become the strongest they could be. They were also taught that the state of Sparta should be valued above all else. While stealing and fighting was encouraged during training, the Spartan soldiers were ultimately taught unity, and to fight as one; to fight as Sparta. This was shown in the early scenes of the movie, as it portrayed the Spartan king, Leonidas, going through this training as a young boy. It was important for the film makers to show this aspect of Sparta, because it truly gave the viewer a greater understanding of Sparta, and why these Spartan men were so superior. One of the main reasons why Spartan warriors were so fearless was because they were taught at a young age that one of the greatest honors which a Spartan man could achieve was to die on the battlefield; fighting for Sparta. This was a belief held so strongly that many would fight to the death rather than retreat, as is demonstrated in 300. There is a scene in the film which shows this Spartan ideal. When the Spartans are looking down on the Massive Persian army, one of the Spartans says "I have fought countless battles, yet I have never found an adversary who could offer me, what we Spartans call, a beautiful death. I only hoe there is one down there who is up to the task". This demonstrates the Spartans willingness to do battle without fear.The film makers really stressed the importance of the phalanx in Spartan warfare. The Spartan army is all based upon the hoplites, and these hoplites are...

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