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William Wallace In Braveheart: How Much Of The Movie Is Really True?

2403 words - 10 pages

“When the two countries faced each other at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, Scotland was led to victory by a figure destined to become a national hero - William Wallace.” (nationalwallacemonument.com). William Wallace has always had a place as national hero in the hearts of many Scots, and after the award winning movie Braveheart his name is ringing bells not only in Scottish heads. Although the movie stirred the popularity of this Hero, it is common knowledge that Hollywood does not always stick to facts. Yet, however, after watching movies like Braveheart, a lot of people tend to take a lot of the movie by the spirits of face value and think they learned something about history. ...view middle of the document...

As to the similarities and differences between the movie and the ‘real’ William Wallace, those will be worked right into the biography.
Braveheart, which came out in theatres in October 1995 is an epic historical drama war film, directed, and also played, by Mel Gibson and written by Randall Wallace (cf. imdb.com). The movie starts off in the year 1280 and is basically a Biography of the Scottish hero. The young William Wallace loses his father and brother who were killed fighting the English. The day after the funeral, his uncle takes him into his custody. As a man who is educated in both the classics and in the art of war he returns twenty years later. Furthermore, William Wallace is portrayed as a strong and brilliant man, as it appears in the scene in which they throw stones. He demonstrates that not weight, but aim is important. However, it seems that Wallace came back for Murron, a girl who attended the Funeral of his father and brother 20 years ago. Wallace is aware of the rumors of revolt, however he is not thinking about joining them. His wish is a simple one, he wants to tend to his field crops and live in peace. The real plot begins a day after the secret marriage of William and Murron. There are at least two reasons why they marry secretly. The first one is the refusal of Murrons father and the second one: the “prima noctae”. Prima noctae is the privilege of sleeping with the bride on the bridal, night which shortly before, was declared to be the right of the local English lord. However, Murron is being killed by English soldiers. The revolt begins with Wallace slaying the entire platoon of the foot soldiers. It does not take long for the other villagers to join him. This revolt is getting bigger and peaks in a full- fledged war. This war proves to be a real threat to the English domination. Although the English army always outnumbers the Scottish troops, which is composed of various Scottish clans, Wallace leads his people to victory. The movie ends with William Wallace being captured, taken to London, and tried for treason. Braveheart is executed by getting hung until semi conscious, stretched and finally disemboweled.
Here, to determine is that the movie already starts with an inaccuracy right at the beginning. The king of Scots is already dead and Edward I has invaded Scotland and is claiming the throne for himself. But, the King of Scots, Alexander III was still alive in 1280. Moreover he did not die until 1286. Also it is not up until 1290 that Edward I imposes himself on Scotland (cf. MacKey 45- 47).
Another inaccuracy in the movie: Edward II is married to Isabella of France in 1296. Which is even before Wallace’s rebellion starts. However, “[…] Wallace was executed two-and-a-half-years before 12-year-old Isabella even arrived in England […]” (historyextra.com). Edward II and Isabella of France did not marry until 1308, which is three years after Wallace’s death. So, everything which happened in the movie involving...

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