Inspiration + Imagination + Challenge

"Braveheart" - the Movie with a Deep Meaning

by Marian Mirosław Soja


"Braveheart", a movie, which is directed and played by Mel Gibson, is about a political conflict between Scotland and England on the 13th century. However, the movie has more deep meaning; it’s a conflict between values of human dignity and evil forces in a society. The movie inspires a mature viewer to think more deeply about true meaning of freedom, love, and dignity - the values that evil forces in societies try to destroy through corruption.


The movie reveals two major characters: William Wallace (Mel Gibson) and King Edward I of England (Patrick McGoohan.) They represent two different social statuses and personalities. William Wallace, who represents the good, is an intelligent and sensitive man. On the other hand, the King Edward I represents the evil – hate, anger, revenge, and cruelty possess him.


William Wallace, as a boy, became an orphan. William’s uncle takes care of him after his father’s death. He teaches William not only how to fight, but also he provides him a good educational background. In consequence, William grows intellectually. He goes for a long trip with his uncle to other countries and learns foreign languages. Although he is not a nobleman, he is capable to face intellectual challenges in conversation with noblemen. For instance, he impressed Princess Isabelle with his fluent French. William does not tolerate oppression from the King of England toward his Scottish fellows. In response he organizes a rise against King Edward I. His action and attitude make him King Edward’s a personal enemy. Moreover, William wins sympathy and respect of his Scottish fellows. On which he becomes a legend and Scottish national hero.


On the other hand, King Edward I has no respect to human life and dignity; he is unpredictable and cruel man. For example, he encourages his noblemen to be cruel and oppressive to Scottish. He declares a law (which is against human dignity) that all Scottish women must spent their first night before marriage ceremony with their local English noblemen. For this reason he has very bad reputation among people of Scotland.


Both characters suffer and experience a painful death at the end of the movie. However, William’s death has a deep spiritual meaning – it is a testimony of his faith and sacrifice. He demonstrated his freedom of choice in spite of his imprisonment. For instance, Princess Isabelle offers him a poison in order to escape his painful execution. William pretended to drink it and later he spit it out after she has left his cell. In this episode William express his freedom – he chooses a painful execution because the evil never corrupt and posses his heart. For this reason, the name "Braveheart" is an excellent choice for the title of the movie.


In contrast, King Edward’s death is more painful because his hate, anger, and revenge (he does not want to show his mercy toward William’s execution) increase his suffering. Moreover, because of his unmerciful attitude, Princess Isabelle divulges to him, her secret - the father of his grandchild is William Wallace. Because the King cannot speak and take any action against her, his anger and hate make his death more painful.


Because of a deep meaning of the movie, I strongly recommend to see it more than once. The movie inspires a viewer for deeper reflection about meaning of freedom in human life. It is worthy to challenge and reject bad things, even in consequence to suffer for the good, because human life became more meaningful as life of William Wallace.




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 Inspiration + Imagination + Challenge