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Essentials Of A True Hero Essay

1162 words - 5 pages

The Essentials of a True Hero
The pervasive theme of leadership has been embodied in many different forms, such as novels and films. In particular, the theme of leadership has been directly associated with the attainment and protection of freedom. In Mel Gibson’s historical/mythological epic, Braveheart, several leadership styles are evident. William Wallace, Edward the Longshanks, and even the Scottish nobility all demonstrate distinct styles of leadership. Despite the difference in styles, William Wallace’s courageous and active leadership proves the most essential. Ultimately, Wallace’s undying passion and determination for freedom helps his army prevail as an underdog.
In the film ...view middle of the document...

Years after Wallace’s death, Robert the Bruce presents himself on the field of Bannockburn to officially acknowledge English acceptance. In an unexpected turn of events, he leads his army into battle against the speechless English, securing the independence of Scotland once and for all.
Throughout the entire film, King Edward the Longshanks was bent on gaining allegiance by any means necessary. He gave little consideration to the feelings of others and accepted no form of flattery. He treated himself as the central authority and expected his subjects to follow his orders, with no concern of their needs. As a leader, he instilled fear in those who resisted him and rewarded those who followed his views. He expanded his power by using fearful force or through the greed of others. For instance, Longshanks had his own archers “fire on his own troops, in hopes of hurting enemy forces” (Borchers). In this case, Longshanks was determined to conquer all of Britain, no matter what means he took. Furthermore, Longshanks established the right of prima nocta, in order to breed out the Scottish and establish complete control over the Scottish. This meant that Longshanks’ nobles carried the right to bed their subjects’ brides on their wedding nights. In reply, Longshanks would severely punish those that refused or resisted, which included Wallace’s wife, Murron. Ultimately, King Edward exhibited a cold-hearted tyrannical style of leadership.
The Scottish nobility displayed another leadership style, one of compromise and reevaluation. “They were willing to barter the lives and welfare of their fellow countrymen for vain promises of land and titles” (Borchers). This meant that the Scottish nobility were easily tempted with little sense of concrete loyalty in order to achieve their objectives. For instance, Leper (Robert’s father) and his views represent the Scottish nobility. He secretly schemes, telling his son to play it safe by supporting both Longshanks and Wallace. Eventually, Leper instructs Robert to pledge allegiance to Longshanks instead, due to the fact that there is no sense in “being in the side that is slaughtered” (Braveheart). Again, the Scottish nobility exhibit a leadership style that focuses on the future battle, rather than their current conflict as their road to victory. Furthermore, Robert was also portrayed as a leader, despite his internal conflict between family and justice. As a leader, Robert was logical in thinking and turned to reasoning in most approaches. His intelligence kept him rational and levelheaded, despite his internally lost soul. Even though Robert was a man of conscience, he lacked the passion and action as a true leader. He...

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