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The Patriot Essay

1743 words - 7 pages

American history usually starts with Columbus and the famous myths surrounding the “founding” of the New World. As children we learn about how Columbus fought against all odds to convince the king and queen of Spain to fund his voyage to prove the world was not flat. As we grow in our understanding of history we find that most of the world, at that time, already knew the world was round. So why do we believe in these myths? We believe in these types of myths because they make the central character or characters appear larger than life, much like a Hollywood blockbuster. In the 2000 film the Patriot, directed by Ronald Emmerich, and distributed by Columbia Pictures; we follow the story of American Revolution as seen through the eyes of a Southern plantation owner, played by Mel Gibson. The Patriot, is a great film that gives the movie watcher a great sense of the turmoil that people went through during the Revolutionary War.
The story begins with Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, following the events of the Battle of Lexington and Concord as he must help the Charleston assembly decide if a levy should be passed to help the newly formed Continental Army. Martin is a small plantation owner and father of several children. He decides that he has seen too much bloodshed in his years and returns to his family rather than going off to fight in the upcoming war. His eldest son, played by Heath Ledger, Gabriel Martin decides to join the Continental Army against his father’s wishes. Through unfortunate circumstances Gabriel returns home one day, as a battle erupts around the Martin Plantation between the British Regulars and the Colonial Militia. Benjamin Martin shows compassion by treating all wounded soldiers regardless of which side they were fighting for. This is when the antagonist of the movie is introduced, Colonel William Tavington, played by Jason Isaacs. Tavington put Gabriel Martin under arrest for treason, and escorts him away, when the second eldest Martin boy tries to free his brother, but is shot and killed by Tavington. In horror, Benjamin Martin, holds his dying child in his arms, this sparks Martin’s involvement in the Revolutionary War.
Martin’s character will go through several character developments as he is exposed to the horrors of war yet again. He eventually leads a small band of militiamen who become quite adept at using guerrilla warfare to keep the British regulars occupied and hurting their lines of communication. Eventually with the death of Gabriel Martin at the hands of Tavington, Benjamin Martin reflects on his role in the Revolution and the Revolution itself. This brings him the climactic finale, in which he leads a large contingent of inexperienced militiamen against British army in battle. The movie eventually allows Martin to obtain closure for the death of his sons when he vanquishes Tavington personally during the battle. The film then ends with the depiction of the battle of Yorktown and General Cornwallis...

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